DAMIEN Marsland’s tennis career is blossoming brightly – and he puts a great deal of his success down to the early coaching he received in Griffith.
The 19-year-old recently earned his way through to a quarter-final in the prestigious Pizzey Cup in Adelaide against some of the best players in Australia.
He was rewarded with a place in the Australian under 19s tennis team.
What started out as a “bit of fun” on the tennis courts in Griffith became more serious when Marsland was 11 years old, and ramped up again at 13 when he was offered a move to Brisbane with coach Bill McDonald.
The youngster took up the offer and spent three years working tenaciously at his game until he was ready to come up against the big guns.
“I had a good start thanks to (Griffith coach) Cheryl Rawle and Bill McDonald – they really brought me to where I am,” Marsland said.
“However coming up here has got me a lot closer to the action and, while it has been pretty tough, it has really been worth it.
“Hopefully I can work my way into the process next year and see where it takes me.”
Marsland’s goal is to stake his claim in the top 500 of world tennis.
He is currently ranked number 257 in Australia after spending some time off court with a stress fracture in his lower back.
“My position could be better but I have to take into account that I haven’t played as much as others,” he said.
In addition to Marsland’s individual success at the Pizzey Cup, the Queensland team took third place in the competition.
The next challenge for the young star is an open tournament in Townsville next weekend.