Coleman follows in father’s MCG footsteps

Glenn “Galaxy” Coleman’s advice for his son before his first big game at the MCG was pretty straightforward. “He sort of said, ‘get out there and soak it all in and make sure you don’t get overawed by it. Forget [the fans] were there.'”

Glenn played 27 senior games on the MCG during his 14-year VFL/AFL career with Fitzroy, Sydney and Footscray. On Saturday night son Jackson, 26, followed in his footsteps, taking to the nation’s most storied sporting arena for the Melbourne Stars in front of more than 48,000 people.

It was the latest milestone on Jackson’s circuitous sporting journey, during which he was a part of ‘s under-19 cricket world cup squad before taking a break from the summer game to pursuit a football career, which included stints at Frankston and Sandringham in the VFL.

He’s been back in cricket for a few years, and had already played one-day cricket for Victoria as well as claiming English scalps including Alastair Cook in a first-class match at Adelaide Oval before this summer’s Ashes series. But to finally get a chance at the MCG, where the left-arm quick had grown up watching the Bulldogs, was something else.

Not that he really saw his debut coming, with late news meaning his family had to rush from Sorrento to see the game. “I was actually at [Albert Park] beach. It was probably about 2 o’clock [on Saturday]. I’d heard I was a chance but probably not going to play but then [captain] John Hastings gave me a call,” Coleman said.

“It was 41 degrees. I literally left straight away, I was like ‘I better get some fluid in.’ I got out of there pretty quick. I was pretty excited and surprised to get the call. It was probably good, I got a good night’s sleep the night before.”

While the Stars couldn’t break their season duck, losing to the Melbourne Renegades by six wickets, Coleman’s showing was a silver lining. He took 1-22 from his four overs, and was pleased with the way he bowled, having only recently returned from a side strain.

The Stars will again vie for their first win of the season when they take on the Adelaide Strikers at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday night. Having been belted by Renegades captain Aaron Finch on Saturday night, veteran spinner Michael Beer has been dropped, with quick Daniel Worrall included in the Stars’ 13-man squad.

Coleman said the team still hadn’t given up on an unlikely run to the finals. “We’re still mathematically a chance to make finals, so until that’s over that’s still our main goal,” he said.

The Strikers moved to the top of the Big Bash League ladder after beating Sydney Thunder on Sunday night.

Meanwhile, fresh from their upset win in the Melbourne derby, the Stars women also take on the Strikers at Adelaide Oval on Tuesday, with captain Kristen Beams named to return from a finger injury. The Strikers have named unchanged squads for the women’s and men’s matches.

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