Ipswich cricketer Matt Guest with his fiancee Hayley and son Flynn.
Ipswich cricketer Matt Guest with his fiancee Hayley and son Flynn.

Why popular Ipswich captain on changed flight path

HE'S been an energetic and team-minded captain.

He's cheered on other teams as a loyal Ipswich-bred sports fan.

Now it's time for popular cricketer Matt Guest to put his family first and charter a new course.

The Centrals first division skipper is heading to Wagga Wagga with his fiancee Hayley and nine-week old son Flynn to join the air force.

"It's a massive career change,'' said Guest, who has been working in child care for eight years.

"But it's definitely something that I'm looking forward to.''

Guest, 24, will start a new role as aircraft technician when he and his family head south on July 14.

"It's pretty much a motor mechanic working on aircraft,'' he said.

 

Centrals skipper Matt Guest. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Centrals skipper Matt Guest. Picture: Cordell Richardson

 

Ipswich born and bred "Guesty'' has only been to NSW once. However, the quality spin bowler and handy batsman is ready to accept the next chapter in his life.

"I've got a family now,'' he said.

"It's definitely going to be a massive challenge for the three of us going down there to an environment we are not used to.

"We're pretty happy to give a crack.''

Having been a club captain who has guided Ipswich to Webb Shield representative success, Guest hopes to use those skills to advantage.

"A major thing is the leadership,'' he said.

"Playing that sport in a team environment is a huge thing, especially related to going into the airforce.

"It's a challenge and I'm willing to take it, just like going on a cricket field really.''

Having shared in two Centrals first division premierships, Guest also knows the importance of keeping in shape whatever the challenge.

"I've been keeping my fitness up and making sure that I'm physically fit and pretty much mentally fit as well,'' he said, having no recent sport to play while preparing for his new career.

Guest started his cricket career as a nine-year-old with Norths before switching to Centrals.

His decision to play cricket surprised his dad David, who was an accomplished soccer player and role model with clubs like Coalstars, Knights and Ipswich City.

However, Matt worked hard to build his own sporting successes.

His favourite cricket moment was being part of Centrals' 2017 grand final victory, a historic moment for the club formed from Western Suburbs and Warwick Road Sports in 1990/91.

"Definitely winning the first premiership,'' he said, appreciating the hard work put in by captain Ben O'Connell, coach Scott Barrett, other club stalwarts like Wayne Jones and the committee.

"That was a massive moment, especially in my career, let alone the whole club.''

 

The victorious 2017 Centrals first division cricket team.
The victorious 2017 Centrals first division cricket team.

Guest also enjoyed Centrals most recent premiership success in the 2018/19 season.

He said his teammates understood family comes first.

"I think the boys will miss me but I will definitely be missing them,'' he said.

"I've been around them for so long and we've created bonds on and off the field.''

The spirited sportsman has also checked out the possibility of playing for future Australian Defence Force teams should that opportunity arise. "That's the plan,'' he said.

"On the interview, they wanted to see if I wanted to be part of their sporting program.''

 

Centrals spinner Matt Guest. Picture: Cordell Richardson
Centrals spinner Matt Guest. Picture: Cordell Richardson

Having been with Hayley for five and a half years,'' Guest has always enjoyed encouraging other Ipswich teams like Western Pride and their growing group of fans in "The Pit'' at games.

"That's something that I've always had in me, supporting different Ipswich sport teams,'' he said.

"Going down there every single Saturday night was a great feeling.''

He said being at the Briggs Road Sporting Complex when Pride won their first National Premier Leagues Queensland grand final in 2017 was another special moment.

Centrals won the premiership the same year, giving Guest plenty of wonderful memories to take to Wagga Wagga.