IT'S not too often a cricketer with overseas experience turns up on your doorstep.
But that's exactly what happened when South African cricketer Conrad Greenshields moved to Mollymook ahead of the 2019/20 Shoalhaven District Cricket Association season.
Greenshields, born in Johannesburg, first started playing cricket at the age of six.
"I remember watching the Benson and Hedges Series between South Africa and Australia and immediately loved the game," Greenshields said.
"Greats like Alan Border, Dean Jones and Jonty Rhodes were my role models growing up.
"My dad bought me a Duncan Fearnley bat for Christmas and I was hooked ever since - I also loved the idea of being part of a team."
After playing all through school in South Africa, Greenshields spent five years away from the game before returning to play in the senior ranks.
"After school I hadn't played for five years but I missed the game so much and joined a club in Cape Town called the Pinelands Cricket Club," he said.
"I was offered to play in England but we were expecting our first child and decided that a job was the best at that time."
Greenshields then spent eight years away from the crease before returning, after visiting his parents in Perth.
"My father and I were cycling one day and saw Melville Cricket Club training," he said.
"We spoke to Brad Thompson (Melville's head coach) to see if I could join a few training sessions while on holiday and he was happy for that to happen.
"I ended up spending one season there before returning two years later for another.
"The highlight for me in Perth was taking 7/18 with the ball - which I put on the same level as my 183 I scored in a one-day fixture in South Africa."
After that season in Western Australia, the now 35-year-old played in the Netherlands.
"I've always wanted to coach at a high level and was approached by a club in the Netherlands called Voorburg Cricket Club," he said.
"I became their captain/coach and guided them to a league title."
Following this premiership, Greenshields and his family wanted to return to Australia.
"I wanted to play somewhere else other than in Western Australia," he said.
"Mollymook looked beautiful and knew it would be completely different from what I was used to."
Before he arrived on the South Coast, Greenshields got in contact with Ulladulla United
"Aaron Wester (United's first grade skipper) contacted me and we spoke with what was expected and we both thought it would be good for both parties," he said.
Although he didn't know what to expect in his debut SDCA campaign, Greenshields set lofty goals for himself.
"I am extremely competitive and wanted nothing less than some silverware for the club," he said.
"Aaron and the club were in the same boat, so that's what I wanted.
"Personally I wanted to focus on my batting and had a target of averaging more than 40.
"I didn't have the best of seasons with the willow in the Netherlands and had a point to prove to myself."
The Australians love their banter and the silly chat just made me determined to succeedConrad Greenshields
It didn't take long for him to leave his footmark on the competition, smashing 123 and taking 6/27 against Shoalhaven Ex-Servicemens at Lighthouse Oval on November 2.
"That was a funny day - my best mate had driven down from Sydney to watch and I promised him a century," Greenshields, who also played for the invitational team Flamingos against the Netherlands under 19s side during his time abroad, said.
"I was dropped on zero in the slips and that was lucky.
"After that, everything just fell into place.
"The Australians love their banter and the silly chat just made me determined to succeed.
"It was my first game at home at Lighthouse Oval and it was really nice to make a big one there.
"As for the ball, numerous solid catches and support from the field allowed for those figures - it'll always be a special day to me."
This proved to be a sign of things to come for Greenshields, as he was recently named SDCA Cricketer of the Year, as well as first grade's player, all-rounder and batsmen of the year.
"To win all those awards is a massive honour and none of them would have been possible without the Ulladulla United Cricket Club, who I can't thank enough," Greenshields, who scored 412 runs at 37.45 and took 24 wickets at 15.05 this season, said.
"Also, a huge thanks too to Bonsai Cricket for supporting me and being apart of their team is a privilege.
"In all honesty, I would be happy to trade in those awards for some titles, as I feel we deserved at least a shot at it.
"In saying that I am proud of the achievements - I'm privileged to be able to do what I love.
"Thank you SDCA for the honour and most importantly thanks to my teammates, without them these achievements wouldn't be possible - up the Seagulls!"
From a team point of view, Greenshields was proud of what his team achieved on the field.
"We didn't have a bad season, considering everything that happened," he said.
"We lost a few key players due to unforeseen circumstances but that never discouraged the squad.
"In all honesty, I believe we were the best squad [in the competition] as a whole.
"Some great performances, such as Peter King's taking five for none against North Nowra-Cambewarra and some good young talent coming through, like Alex Baccarini, which is always nice to see.
"There were a few games where we dropped the ball but that's sport - we always remained positive and bounced back."
This strong regular season form saw them finish the year in second place, behind Berry-Shoalhaven Heads, before the campaign was called off due to the coronavirus epidemic.
But if it wasn't for that, Greenshields thought his side had what it takes to end their premiership drought.
"I honestly believe that when it comes to finals, alternate days should be put aside in order to have a proper outcome," he said.
"I know it's easy to say but maybe something to look at in the future.
I had planned to be there all season with United but coronavirus made me reevaluate what was more important and obviously family came first - seeing my daughter was paramountConrad Greenshields
"We were prepared for the finals and believe we would have taken some silverware home if they went ahead.
"Not taking anything away from Berry - they had a great season.
"But it's always better to win or lose in a final but rules are rules at the end of the day."
But with the COVID-19 outbreak around the world, Greenshields actually had to rush home the week before their semi-final against Bomaderry was scheduled.
"I had planned to be there all season with United but coronavirus made me reevaluate what was more important and obviously family came first - seeing my daughter was paramount," he said.
"On top of that, I had signed a contract with Ajax Cricket Club in the Netherlands and wanted to get there to start preparing for the upcoming season.
"I am committed to Ajax and have big plans with them."
After 39 hours of 'long and arduous' international travel, Greenshields arrived in The Hague, where he is bunkered down during this world crisis.
"This whole situation is weird to be part of," he said.
"The Dutch government has put rules in place regarding groups - no more than three people in one spot and 1.5 metres apart.
"Shops have lines waiting for people to shop one by one, while restaurants and bars are all closed until further notice.
"I have to say that it all seems to be working.
"At the end of the day, people's health and safety is the most important factor and following the rules is the best decision we can all make."
Although he is committed to playing in the Netherlands next season, Greenshields admits he will return to Australia in the near future, to visit both his family and friends.