O’Dea hits sports history

With his selection in the 2018 SA Outback side for the Australian Country Cricket Championships in Geraldton during January next year, Brodie O’Dea has etched himself into SA country sporting history.

Pekina Bushrangers cricketer O’Dea becomes the fourth player to represent South Australian country teams in football and cricket.

From the Orroroo Football Club, O’Dea was a member of the SA Country team that travelled to Perth and had a victory in the 2013 interstate clash with the Sandgropers under the tutelage of Steve Lubcke.

A left-footer he has an extensive football history playing for Orroroo, which includes the 2012 NAFA Mail Medal and Landmark Cup football for the Northern Areas association team across a number of seasons.

He also played Northern Zone football on four occasions in the South Australian Country Football Championships, culminating in his selection for the SA Country team four years ago.

While studying for his teachers degree he spent four years at the Woodville Cricket Club, which included first grade cricket alongside players of the ilk of Chadd Sayers, Daniel Harris and Ken Skewes.

His highest SACA first grade score was against the Adelaide Buffaloes, an accomplished 57 not out, against a bowling attack of Jason Gillespie and Dan Cullen.

O’Dea first played A grade cricket at Pekina as a 14-year-old and his highest score is a brilliant 253 from 126 balls faced against the Spalding Cricket Club back in the 2010-11 season.

That year he made 1023 runs at an average of 78.69, including four centuries and five 50s.

“Footy is my passion,” O’Dea said.

“But I reckon I may be a slightly better cricketer.

“Along with my time at Woodville I played Adelaide Turf cricket with Brighton.

“I also played some games with the Renmark Cricket Club and last year played alongside my younger brother, Liam at Southern Eyre.

“Naturally I’m excited to the get this opportunity to play state country cricket and looking forward to testing myself against the best the national country cricket competition has to offer.”

In the current Northern Areas season O’Dea is leading the batting with 420 runs at an average of 105.

The other three country sportsmen who have played both SA country football and SA Outbacks cricket are O’Dea’s current team-mate 21-year-old Joseph Brown from Kapunda, Gilbert Valley cricketer and RSMU footballer James Vandeleur – who has also played SANFL league for Woodville West Torrens and SACA first grade cricket with Port Adelaide – and former Langhorne cricket sportsman Tom Johnson.