YOUNG Port Macquarie cricketer Sam Johnson's career has taken another giant leap forward, with selection in the NSW Combined Catholic Colleges team.
Johnson made the cut while playing for Country North in two trial matches earlier this month in Campbelltown, where he impressed selectors with both bat and ball.
The left-arm pace bowler took one wicket in the first match against Metro A, before backing up the next day to take four against Metro B.
The 15-year-old said he was "stoked" to make the team.
"I definitely bowled a lot better the second day," he said.
But Johnson also impressed with the bat.
In the first match he scored 15 not out. His knock of 20 in the second match swayed selectors to pick the all-rounder.
Johnson will now head to Sydney next weekend to take part in two trials for the All-Schools team.
A squad will be picked from those games, but more is required to make the team.
Those selected in the squad will head back to Sydney for a net session in late December.
It's another step towards Johnson's ambition to play cricket for his country.
"I definitely want to play for Australia," he said.
"If not, then the Blues."
While his left-arm action may invoke images of Mitchell Starc, Johnson models himself on the star from another generation.
"If I had to pick one I'd say Glenn McGrath," he said.
"But Davey Warner is my favourite cricketer."
And when he isn't competing at a higher level, Johnson takes to the field for his Wauchope RSL second-grade team in the Hastings River District Cricket Association competition.
The team leads the competition by quite a margin. Wauchope is on 38 points, with the nearest challenger, Port City Leagues Magpies, on 24.