Alan?s remarkable run
By STEVE ARCHBOLD
WHEN you have played sport for most of your life, a knee injury can prove a significant problem.
For Alan McFayden, 31, the injury which cut short his rugby league career in Armidale meant he was desperate to find another sport to stop him sitting around and feeling bored.
After moving to the Mid North Coast, Alan spent one season playing cricket with West Coffs before turning his attention to a new sport.
Alan said it was his twin brother John who sparked a new sports interest when he gave him a set of lawn bowls.
"John was a bowling club apprentice greenkeeper when I was playing football in Armidale but at that time I was too busy playing other sports to become involved in bowls," he said.
Once he started playing bowls, the Sawtell Bowling Club greenkeeper has never looked back.
Named rookie of the year for Zone 14 in his debut season in 2002, it wasn't hard to tell that a new star had emerged on the Mid North Coast lawn bowls scene.
In the past four years, Alan has stamped his class on local lawn bowls winning a swag of titles on what has been a remarkable run.
"From the start I felt comfortable with bowls and getting close to the jack but I am still a bit rusty on all the rules," he said.
"As I have gone on the club has given me more responsibility stepping up from lead to a second and third which gives you the opportunity to play a lot more shots rather than just drawing all the time."
When Alan first started playing bowls he didn't really know what to expect and took a whatever happened, happened attitude with everything that he achieved along the way.
"I always went out there trying to win, I set my goals but I didn't expect to achieve them as quick as I did," he said.
While disappointed to lose the champion of champions Zone play-offs and a place in the State finals, Alan said the day he played Michael Burgess was easily the toughest conditions he has experienced.
"The wind blew my first bowl out of bounds and the same thing happened to Michael with his first bowl, they recorded the wind that day at 90km/h ? some times getting within a yard was a good bowl," Alan said.
He already has a club singles title at Sawtell under his belt and feels the club is becoming stronger all the time.
"We are getting to the stage where we can give the other bigger clubs a real run for their money in coming years," he said.
The way he is going, we are going to hear a lot more about Alan McFayden.