KEITH Barker admits he is "lucky".
Most men would be happy to be good at just one sport and Keith came through the ranks as a striker at Blackburn Rovers as he looked to make his mark in football.
It didn’t quite work out for Keith so he has turned attention back to his first love - cricket - and he is on the verge of making a big impact with the bat and ball.
The talented 21-year-old is having trials at Warwickshire and could be offered a contract there after impressing the coaches.
And Keith admits it has been a mixed journey from cricketer to footballer and back to his first sport.
"It was always cricket first for me up to being around 13 or 14 but then I started enjoying my football and I chose that," said Keith, who was offered a contract at Lancashire Cricket Club as an Under 15.
"I had a good time at Blackburn Rovers although I never really got a chance to make it into the first team. I played a lot of reserve games and was always battling for a place as some weeks you were in and some weeks not. But I learned a lot there.
"I went on loan to Rochdale and scored my first league goals and that was another good experience while it lasted.
"Then I was playing non league football at Northwich Victoria last season but I had already decided to concentrate on my cricket.
"I am very lucky that I am good at two sports. Most players drift out of football and have to get a job but I have got a chance in cricket. I am just really lucky."
He never quite let his cricket go playing for Enfield in the Lancashire League, a club where his dad, Keith Senior, was professional in the 1960s and brothers Andy and Gary played.
Sadly Keith Senior, a West Indies star, died recently although Keith junior admitted his dad would have been proud to see him giving his cricket career a good go.
Keith had always kept his hand in - playing for Enfield until pre-season started in football and then he wasn’t allowed to play cricket for fear of injury.
But this season has been his first full campaign at cricket since those early days - and he has caught the eye of the watching scouts especially with his 21 wickets.
Lancashire have been keeping tabs on him but have never made a move while Warwickshire scouts snapped him up and asked him for a trial. And he got a century in his second team debut against Hampshire and has been asked back for a further trial spell as he bids to impress the coaches further.
He will be at Warwickshire during the week and turn out for Enfield at weekends until his future is resolved.
"I am enjoying it all now. For the last five years I have been playing for Enfield until football pre season started and I am just glad I kept my cricket up.
"Me and the professional Brandon Hiini have done well bowling this season and we have taken a lot of wickets and bowling is a lot easier to get back into. But I do consider myself an all-rounder and that is what I have been working on.
"Obviously the days are a lot longer in cricket than football.
"In football it is 90 minutes and that’s it whereas a cricket day can last from 11am, when it starts, til 7.30pm and it does take a bit of getting used to - especially when it is a four day match. At first it seemed to go on forever!
"In football you have little time to think but, in cricket, you have to be mentally right and concentrate for a long time.
"The lads here have welcomed me at Warwickshire and it is all new to me.
"I will definitely sign for someone and it just depends who now. I do just look on myself as a very lucky person to be good at two sports."
l OTHER cricketers and footballers were the legendary Denis Compton who was an England batsman from 1938-56 and played for Arsenal. There was also ex-England batsman Ian Botham who played for Scunthorpe; Chris Balderstone, ex-England, Yorkshire, Leicestershire who played more than 500 games for Carlisle and Huddersfield; Arnie Sidebottom, Yorkshire and Man Utd and also David Lloyd - Lancashire and Accrington Stanley.
Everton’s Phil Neville was also a highly-rated cricketer, playing for Lancashire seconds aged 15 and captaining England Under 15s before he chose football.