Michael Copeland loves cricket, no question about that. For him the best part about staying in the hostel at King Edward VII School is that it gives him more time to practice. He goes to Jimmy Cook for specialised coaching, but whenever there’s an empty net available he is in there with a friend throwing balls to him.
“Being in the hostel means I can keep going a bit longer before I have to go in for supper, and there are always other cricketers available who are willing to practice with me.”
And all that work has paid off for him. It began back in his hometown of Klerksdorp where he played for the Northwest under-11, under-12 and under-13 teams. It was at the under-13 inter provincial week that he was spotted and asked to apply for a place at King Edward.
His parents came to the school, he was shown around and he spoke to Jimmy Cook and he was accepted, with the support of a TAG Foundation bursary. He is an all rounder in the under-16A team now, and hoping to make the 1st team in the second part of the year when the matrics stop playing. He is also hoping to make the Gauteng under-17 provincial team in December.
All that cricket practicing doesn’t leave much time for other things, but he is also a good hockey player and plays for the schools under-16A team. “I enjoy hockey and have good friends in the team, but my focus is on cricket. Hockey is good for getting my fitness levels up and I am giving it a full go, but I’m looking forward to the summer,” he said.
And while a future as a professional cricketer is what he dreams about, Mickey realises that it might not work out, and that doing well at his schoolwork is also important. “My marks are OK,” he says. “I’m not in danger of failing, but I know that I could be doing better and I’m working on that.”
Coming to a school like King Edward was the best thing for him, Mickey says. “Cricket-wise, we have great indoor and outdoor facilities, I get to be coached by someone like Jimmy Cook and we play against the top schools in the country. I am very grateful to those who have believed in me and made it possible to experience all of that.”
Micky’s parents are fully supportive of his dreams. “My mother doesn’t like cricket, actually, but she is right behind me anyway. My father, on the other hand is an absolute cricket nut. He is at all my games and I have to remind him that he is there to support me, not to offer advice to everyone,” he said.
Mickey Copeland is a cricketer with a bright future. We will be keeping an eye on his progress.