Cricket, football star Alex Tims enjoys stellar year

Few teenagers have the chance to chose between elite sports. Even fewer have the opportunity to be mentored by one of the game's truly elite players.

But such is the situation for Alex Tims.

The 17-year-old has enjoyed an incredible year, chosen for the NSW All Schools football team on the back of her selection in the Australia shadow team last year.

The Endeavour Sports High School student also helped her North West Sydney Koalas team to the NPL NSW women's reserve grade premiership this year and the centre back already has a move to APIA Leichhardt locked in for next season.

Her football exploits earned her a Sydney East Blues Award last year, an effort she repeated this year for cricket.

The year 12 student, who is about to complete her HSC, was also chosen in the NSW All Schools cricket team and captained NSW CHS second XI at the All Schools carnival in March where she was named wicket-keeper of the tournament.

Tims, from Oatley, has also been selected to represent ACT-NSW Country at the Cricket Australia under-18 female National Underage Championships to be played in Tasmania in January.

And, as much as she loves football, Tims told the Leader she is almost ready to commit to cricket full time.

The wicket-keeper/batter has already turned down a full scholarship to the College of William & Mary in the US to concentrate on her cricket career.

And with good reason. Not only is she immensely talented, Tims even has access to Australia wicket-keeper/batter Alyssa Healy who acts as a mentor to Tims at their club side, Sydney.

"It's really good. The way she's taught me and the little things she's passed on along the way," Tims said of Healy.

"She is paving the way for [female] cricketers in Australia. For her to mentor me is surreal. Even for her just to know who I am [is amazing].

"She kind of found me and asked me to come along to trial. We did a one on one session and she liked me and told her dad [former general manager Greg Healy] he needed to sign me for first grade.

"She's away a lot. She usually only plays a few games a season because she's playing rep cricket.

"But when she comes back she always wants me to keep. She just bats and runs around in the field.

"She's really supportive of me."

Tims has dreams of representing Australia and has already gained experience against top class opposition not just in grade cricket but in trial matches with the Sydney Sixers.

"I've always dreamed of playing for Australia," she said.

"Obviously there are stepping stones to that that I want to achieve, playing for the Sixers and the NSW Breakers and hopefully eventually getting signed by the Sixers.

"Obviously having [Healy] as a mentor makes it a lot easier. I can always see how she's going and she great at giving me advice and things I need to work on.

"I can learn so much from her. You're always in the game as a keeper. Sometimes in the field you see fielders switch off a bit but you're always in play, getting the ball every delivery that comes through. You've always got to be switched on."