YOUNG quick Courtney Sippel has so much potential with the ball, she is already being compared to fellow South Burnett woman and Australian star, Holly Ferling.
Ferling made national headlines in late 2009, when she took a hat-trick with her first three balls in senior men's competition, at just 13. Courtney has also got tongues wagging already.
In a game for Wide Bay's Under 12 team last summer, she took 4-5 against Brisbane North, including the prized wicket of Queensland Bulls coach Stuart Law's son, Max.
"She was our go-to bowler - there were parents that would come watch us play just so they could see her bowl," Wide Bay U12 coach Scott Thompson said.
Courtney will be 13 - the same age Ferling was - when she plays senior cricket for the first time next summer.
And according to the South Burnett Cricket Association's president Darren Geiger, who assisted in Ferling's rise to the top, she can reach the same heights.
"Holly's big advantage was her size, and Courtney has the same advantage," Geiger said.
"Holly was mechanically spot on and again Courtney's action is similar. The similarities are huge."
Courtney comes from a highly successful sporting family.
Her brother Jared was recently in Sri Lanka with the Australian U16 team, with the youngster following in the footsteps of Matthew Hayden and Carl Rackemann, in representing his country from the same region.
Courtney's grandfather Nev still plays for the Australian over-60 team, and Nev's sons Mark and Andrew represented Australia in tennis.
Courtney was the only girl who played in the Queensland Junior Championship last summer.
Making her feats more remarkable were her successes against Brisbane North - a team that had more than 200 kids show up for try-outs.
Courtney's mum Leanne puts her success down to a gymnastics regime.
"She was clocked at 80kph while in an emerging Wide Bay players' camp midway through last year.
"You don't think 80km is fast, but Courtney was only 12 at the time," Leanne said.
"She's got a strong core from doing gymnastics locally, and that's also helped her with her pace," she said.
Dreams are made on the Sippels' family tennis court on their farm in Redgate, just outside the small township of Murgon.
That was where Jared honed his skills facing up to the family tennis ball machine - as early as four.
"Courtney has seen Jared's success and she's hungry to follow him - when he made the Australian U15 team, she was straight out on the tennis court working on her game," Leanne said.
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