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Contin teenager Mollie Parker outlines professional ambitions in both football and cricket after starring for Ross County and Scotland youth teams


By Andrew Henderson

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Mollie Parker’s world seems to revolve around sport.

Coming from an extended family who have been involved with hockey, boxing and shinty, it has instead been football and cricket that the New Zealander has focused her efforts on.

Playing to a decent level in each sport, there was a question mark over whether the 16-year-old would be able to continue with both when moving to the Highlands last year.

However, in the face of potential adversity she has kicked on again and reached even greater heights.

With Dingwall Academy, Parker was part of the side who won the North of Scotland Cup for the first time ever, putting the skills she developed in futsal to good use.

Joining Ross County immediately – going for a trial at the club the day after landing in Scotland – she has gone on to be a key part of the Staggies’ women’s and under-18 sides, where she scored a hat-trick last weekend in their win over Westdyke.

Mollie Parker immediately joined Ross County after moving to Contin from New Zealand, becoming a key part of their side.
Mollie Parker immediately joined Ross County after moving to Contin from New Zealand, becoming a key part of their side.

She did not expect to have the opportunity to play cricket in the Highlands, but joined Northern Counties in Inverness alongside dad Geoff, stepping up from their development team to their first 11 this summer.

Parker is continuing to take wickets, and has gone on to play for Scotland’s under-16s and under-19s – taking three wickets for the latter against an MCC select last week too.

Nothing seems to faze the teenager, who has high ambitions in both sports.

“I don’t really like one more than the other, but they are totally different,” Parker said.

“Football is a lot faster and harder here, so I’ve learned a lot and I’m a lot stronger now. We’re in a youth league where we’re one of the better teams, so we’re winning by a lot. That was surprising.

“The women’s league is a lot more physical, so you have to pass a lot more instead of just dribbling, and the teams are a lot closer matched, but I think that’s good for development because you have to work more as a team.

“I didn’t really expect to play cricket when we moved over to Scotland, so that was really surprising. I only got to play one game out of four (for Scotland’s under-19s) last week, because I caught a cricket ball and smashed my hand.

Mollie Parker has stepped up from Scotland's under-16s to the under-19s in cricket this summer.
Mollie Parker has stepped up from Scotland's under-16s to the under-19s in cricket this summer.

“Playing in adults’ cricket here, at first I didn’t want to bat – I would just stick the bat out and hope. It’s not actually too much of a step up, even though I never played against grown men in New Zealand.

“I want to be a professional, probably in both sports. I don’t really want to have to pick.”

Parker is getting to an age where most youngsters would be told to choose one sport to specialise in if they are serious about going pro, but Cricket Scotland have been extremely supportive of her football exploits.

“Gordon Drummond at Cricket Scotland has actually told her not to drop one sport,” dad Geoff said.

“If there is a game here at the weekend they have told Mollie to play. If there are big football games, she has been told to go to those, because there are benefits to it all. We were surprised by that, but it’s good.

“For me it’s brilliant to play alongside Mollie in cricket. I wicket keep for the second team sometimes, so it’s cool to watch her running in and trying to bowl.

“I don’t think I ever expected to play with her. I thought I would be too old by the time she came through, but it’s brilliant.”


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