Taking an opportunity: Puckapunyal’s Madison Albers embarks on ‘Renegades Recruit’
You never know when, or in what fashion, your big break is going to arrive.
Whether you are a budding sportsperson, up-and-coming musician or talented artist, life is all about taking opportunities.
For 20-year-old Puckapunyal cricket prodigy Madison Albers, her opportunity recently came in the form of reality television show Renegades Recruit run by Big Bash League franchise Melbourne Renegades.
The format debuted with male cricketers in 2021 and this is the first female edition of Renegades Recruit, with Albers being one of 11 cricketers from across the state selected to feature.
Beginning on Monday, July 4, the show will air over three episodes which will see contestants battling it out for a unique opportunity to develop their cricket with the Renegades.
The prize includes training opportunities with the WBBL program, attending a match day with the squad and $1000 in cricket gear courtesy of Kookaburra.
Albers said she saw the application process pop up on social media and was initially hesitant to put her name forward.
“It was a bit of a shock to be selected to take part (in Renegades Recruit) because I didn’t know how many people I was up against,” Albers said.
“When I first saw it come up online I didn’t really want to do it but my mum egged me on.
“Through the application you just had to say why you wanted to be involved, so I just said the truth about it and in the end was lucky to be chosen.”
Taking up cricket eight years ago, Albers quickly made a name for herself as one of the most exciting talents in the Seymour region.
She played juniors at three different clubs in the Seymour District Cricket Association, before being plucked by Melbourne Premier outfit Carlton.
She outlined what had been an action-packed cricket journey to date.
“I started off at Seymour and since then have also played for Tallarook, Eastern Hill and Carlton,” she said.
“I’ve been at Carlton for three seasons now while (I’ve) also been at Puckapunyal for a similar amount of time, playing in the B-grade team.”
When plying her trade for Pucka, she faces the daunting proposition of being the only girl in the senior SDCA competition.
And while that may intimidate most, Albers said she relished the challenge.
“It is a really good opportunity,” she said.
“Obviously our skill levels are very different, and some of the boys are up themselves about it and underestimate me, but that doesn’t really bother me and all the boys at Pucka are very nice and give me the opportunity to open the bowling.
“Being able to play at that level, it has helped me immensely.”
Her work with the new ball was enough to convince the Renegades Recruit panel she was a perfect contestant for the show.
Travelling down to Melbourne for the filming process, she said overall it was a wonderful experience.
“I knew some of the girls already so it was also a good opportunity to see some of them again and be coached by some of the best coaches in the country,” she said.
“The filming side of it was something I didn’t really like because I’m a bit of a shy person, but it is something I’m going to have to get used to and it was great to get that experience.”
Now well and truly on the radar of the Melbourne Renegades, Albers said the show marked a big step towards her goal of becoming a professional cricketer.
“Opportunity-wise it puts my name out there a little bit more with the Renegades and Victoria,” she said.
“Ultimately, my ambitions and hopes are to one day play for Victoria and in the WBBL.
“This is a definite step in the right direction for me and something I am just thrilled to be part of.”
The first episode of the women’s edition of Renegades Recruit will air on Monday, July 4.