Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat
“I’m super excited. Jess is excited. The entire family is excited. It’s the first grandchild on my side of the family, so I can’t wait.”
They’re a tight group, these Brisbane Heat players. They play together, train together, and push each other to new heights together. And now there’s a smaller group who will be going through the joys of fatherhood together.
Soon Mitchell Swepson will be the latest to enter the Heat ‘Dad Club’. He joins teammates Matt Renshaw, Jimmy Peirson, Mark Steketee, Michael Neser, Usman Khawaja, and Jack Wildermuth in welcoming bubs into the world over the last few years.
While the bonds of teams and cricketers are formed through wins, wickets and runs, the pull of family is one that keeps the current crop of Heat and QLD players tight.
“One of our values here at the Heat is family and that’s a massive part of who we are,” says Swepson ahead of the upcoming BBL season where he is set to play a starring role.
“It’s how we approach things on and off the field. We look after each other. At the end of the day, we’re playing a game of cricket. Everyone who plays this game started playing for fun. But there are bigger and more important things in life – and family is one of them,” he continues.
While there are few things in life that can truly prepare a first-time parent for what is to come, Swepson has enjoyed bouncing ideas off his teammates before he and partner Jess welcome their baby into the world in 2023.
“It’s a weird time with lot of the guys having kids at the same time because we have been together for a long time. Which is great because we are really close. Starting families together has made us closer and we bounce ideas off each other. Tackling fatherhood not just by yourself but with your teammates is pretty handy.”
“It actually relaxes you knowing that your teammates go home to their kids and have got much bigger things going on in their lives. It helps put perspective on things.”
With fatherhood firmly and rightly on his mind, Swepson also has an eye on the BBL season and performing for the Heat. After a frustrating few seasons where he spent most of his time bowling in the nets and running drinks as part of the wider Australian Test squad, Swepson is looking forward to spending time in the middle with ball in hand and hopefully contributing to a few Heat wins.
“Everyone’s up and about,” Swepson says of the feeling in the Heat squad.
“I wasn’t around too much last season but looking in it did feel a bit tough at times. The vibe around the place is really good.”
The Heat’s upcoming Gabba opener against the Strikers should be one to watch with Sam Billings, Ross Whitely and Colin Munro all set to make their home debut in front of the Heat faithful, while the strong Adelaide side is highlighted by leg-spinning magician Rashid Khan and new Kiwi recruit Colin de Grandeholme. But’s it’s a certain former Heat captain that’s on Swepson’s mind.
“I don’t think anyone looks forward to bowling to Lynny,” he says with a wry smile, referencing former teammate and Heat captain Chris Lynn.
“I’ve seen first hand what he can do and the talent he’s got. It will be weird running out in a teal jersey without him. He’s been here since I’ve been playing for the Heat. Hopefully he doesn’t have a day out against us. We’ll do our best for him not to.
“But at the end of the day he’s a serious player. If he scores runs, then I’m happy for him as a mate but not if he’s playing against us.”
He might be speaking for all Heat fans here.
Tickets for this Friday’s Gabba season opener are available at Ticketek.