Name: Damian Naughton
Sex: Only with exotics
Nicknames: Naughto, Bats, El Presidente, Skip, Battler, Daddy Day Care
First Played for the Club: 2001/02
Number of Matches: 245
Runs Scored: 7,362
Wickets Taken: 129
Bowling Average: 17.16
Strike Rate: 25.86
Catches: 176 (should be 179…)
Haircut: Beckham circa 2014 / Draco Malfoy circa 2002 (formerly, Beckham 2002)
Current Role: 1st Grade Captain, Club President
Still Nice to his Mother: Yes
Favourite Covie? Jenko or Ben Preece between beers 3 and 5
Favourite European tourist attraction: The Leaning Tower
Jarrod: G’day mate, how you going?
Damian: Yeah not bad slick, thanks for meeting me here mate.
Jarrod: No worries, anything to get me out of work on a Wednesday. Even if I’m surrounded by minors in a day care centre.
Damian: Yeah, Rolf Harris would be jealous.
Jarrod: *Laughs* oh you’re so funny Naughto. Now, this isn’t your first Closet Covie is it?
Damian: No actually, that grub Alex Dodds did one back in 2006. Those were the days though I tell you, me and Matt McKenzie were best mates in 24s; I was piling on runs for fun and JT had just released “Sexy Back”.
Jarrod: Yeah you don’t seem like much of a hip hop fan…
Damian: Anyway, moving on. I’m a bit time poor this arvo mate so what did you want to talk about? Me carrying 1s for the last 15 years? My 13 cricketing awards? That 100 not out off 34 balls? That time I got 166* in a total of 200? Why Blommy loves me?
Jarrod: Right. Well, as President of LCCC let’s start with how you think we’ll do as a club this season?
Damian: Well, I think we’re heading in the right direction. The guys are turning up to training and enjoying their cricket and in general there’s a really strong culture at the club which I’ve pretty much built myself. I mean we might not win all the trophies, if only we could clone me! But we all enjoy our cricket and get back to the Diddy which is a great testament to the work I’ve put in. I mean, who doesn’t love a lazy beer and taking their shirt off?
Jarrod: Ahhh aren’t you an identical twin?
Damian: Oh yeah, but I’m much better than Tim, let’s be honest. He’s an alright Keeper. But I could do a better job behind the stumps even without the gloves. I’ve got a great pair of hands. Wouldn’t even need inners. I can’t be everywhere I suppose.
Jarrod: I suppose not. Where is your best position then?
Damian: We are talking about cricket aren’t we?
Jarrod: Yes Damian, we are.
Damian: Oh good, lucky. Because I’m pretty good in any position haha yeah, no, but seriously I’m actually pretty good in all fielding positions. We would win every game if we had 11 of me in the field. Runouts from mid on/mid off, slips catches for fun, saving runs in the ring and of course keeping as I’ve already mentioned, no inners required. I could bowl from both ends too. Bowling is bloody easy. Have you seen my average and strike rate?
Jarrod: Yeah we fished it out for this interview. Thought you might mention it.
Damian: A bowler’s strike rate is an excellent barometer of the bowler’s quality you know.
Damian: My average and strike rate are better than any of our 1s bowlers. Actually, I think the Leaning Tower has me on average. But only just and at least I don’t bowl 14 ball overs.
Jarrod: Indeed. So how do you think 1s will fare this season?
Damian: I’ve played a lot of games of high standard cricket mate. I’ve played hundreds of games in fact so I know what I’m talking about. I think we have as good a chance this season as we’ve had at any time in the past to go all the way. I mean, I’m in really good form. We’ve got a UK import who might actually be decent and we’ve picked up young Maxwell from the country who looks a little scratchy in his batting but could do a job for us. Choco finally got some runs on Saturday and with Jenko coming back into the team next round it’s looking very solid. I mean I’m always going to get 500+ a season. That’s bankable. I just need someone to do half my work load and I think we win the comp, daylight second.
Jarrod: Ummm.. Damo aren’t you on whites next innings?
Damian: Yes Ricko but fortune favours the brave, and I’m about as brave as they come.
Jarrod: Right… well speaking of workload, Archie is growing up fast. Has parenthood changed you?
Damian: Not really mate. Nothing really bothers me. Just another string to the bow I guess. I’m a dad now, add that to being a sales director at a large US software company, club president, 1s captain. Whatevs. I probably take my shirt off a little less these days than in the past. I’ve noticed the lads don’t react that positively anymore. Not like my great mate Matt Mackenzie. Even Evey used to give me the odd bum slap and a ‘looking good Naughto’. Maybe the current boys are just really jealous of my incredible rig. Who knows? But my cricket is as strong as ever, killing it at work, still the best looking bloke at the club. Nothing much changes.
Jarrod: On that topic I noticed you changed Archie’s diapers in the sheds on Saturday. Clever. Need to multitask more these days?
Damian: He’d just shat himself. Wasn’t ideal I was in the middle of one of my motivational team talks. So I changed him. Two birds one stone sort of thing.
Jarrod: I couldn’t help but notice you left the crappy diapers in the change rooms all day. Cheers.
Damian: Didn’t smell any worse than our batting display to be fair. It was my way of saying to our batters I think their output has been pretty, well… shit. I read in a book on managing people that 75% of your message needs to be conveyed in non verbal language. My verbal is already pretty strong so I’m working on my non-verbals with my life mentor, Harvey Weinstein. Hopefully the Chocos, the Bloods, the Pirras get my message and they take my lead and follow me as I lead us into battle this season.
Jarrod: Right. Had a bit of a rough day personally on Saturday. Anything you want to say about that?
Damian: Everybody has a bad day every now and then, mine just happened to be very, very rare. If anything it proves I’m not perfect and am human after all. A really, really good looking human but a human nonetheless. Damian Naughton is never down for long.
Jarrod: On whites at the moment. Bit nervous?
Damian: I don’t really get nervous mate. Never been on whites before though, in fact I went more than 10 years without getting a duck. It’s a weird feeling if I’m honest, kind of exciting actually. I mean batting was getting a bit boring. When you’re so much better than everyone else, it’s easy to switch off. But I’m still in really good form, just been a bit unlucky lately so I know a ton is just around the corner for me.
Ricko: I see. Making the Shires Team of the Year last season must have been a great honour. Think you can go back to back?
Damian: Mate to be honest when you’ve won as many awards as me, 13 for those counting at home, another one doesn’t really matter. I mean, it’s nice to feel appreciated and be recognised but personal awards don’t do much for me anymore. I’d be pretty keen to win another premiership though. I’m not going to be around forever and this might be some of these guys only chance at winning something in their lives. I’m pretty selfless like that. I’m an amazing leader though and I think that’s what some of these blokes need, especially the younger ones. There are some good cricketers going around in other clubs but none of the other captains are anywhere near as good a leader as me and I think that will be the difference this season.
Jarrod: Great stuff Naughto, inspirational as always. Thanks for your time skip and see you Wednesday!
Damian: Cheers, its been real.