Family batters

July 1, 2013 by Josh Givoni
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The 2013 Maccabiah will see many families competing…but few will boast a father like Julian Wiener who has represented his country at full international level.

The Wiener boys

The Wiener boys

Julien, 58, a former Test cricketer for Australia from 1979-1980, will captain our open men’s side in the cricket tournament at the Games, and he’ll have his two sons Dean (26) and Brett (23) by his side in the same team for the journey.

Eldest son Dean will make his second visit to Israel for the 2013 Games, after finishing in our 2009 side that finished a disappointing fourth.

Youngest son Brett can’t wait to make his Maccabiah Games and Israel debut when he touches down in Tel Aviv on July 12. “It’s really exiting having the opportunity to visit Israel whilst at the same time represent your country on the world stage,” Brett said.

The opportunity to play alongside his two sons will take on special significance for Julien, 58.

“It will most likely never happen again. It’s something we’ve been really looking forward to and it means the world to us,” Julien said.

On a personal note, Julien said: “it’s fantastic to represent your country, particularly at the stage of life I’m at”.

For the Wiener family, the Maccabiah Games is more than just cricket. Julien’s wife Michelle is packing her bags and touring with the three men of the house. For Dean, the chance for the whole family to visit relatives in Israel is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

“Having mum come to Israel with us doesn’t just add one cheering supporter to the grandstand each day; it adds so much to the whole Maccabiah experience. Mum adds a level of comfort and support to us that we weren’t going to have over there,” Dean said.

Even though the trio played together all year for Maccabi and didn’t see the on-field results they had hoped for, Dean says: “it was the most enjoyable cricket season I have ever had. It’s not often you get to walk out and play with an Australian Test cricketer. It’s an amazing learning experience every time I get the chance to play with dad.

The competitive nature of the Wiener family is exemplified by youngest son Brett, a former Maccabi Junior Sportsman of the Year winner, who believes: “It’s a really exciting thing to be able to say that that you’re representing Australia. Mentally, it takes you to that next level. You want to prepare better, you want to play better and you want to do better in every aspect of the game.”

His physical and mental preparation for Maccabiah has been that of an athlete desperate to win a medal for his country. Brett’s role in the team is unique, he doesn’t believe he is in the team because he bats, bowls or fields better than anyone else.

Brett says: “I just want to win a little bit more than everyone else. I want to bring a bit of feral to the team as this may give us the edge to win gold.”

The trio are ready to tackle the community’s expectations head-on and believe they have what it takes to win gold.

“There is a huge amount of weight on our shoulders to perform better than we did in 2009. Anything short of playing in a gold medal match is disappointing,” Julien said.

All the rigorous preparation for the Maccabiah Games will culminate in one very special moment before the Wiener’s take the field in Israel – the moment the three get to walk out onto Teddy Stadium on July 18 in front of 32,000 fans.

“It’s going to be a very special occasion for us. It’s the only time this will happen in our lifetimes. Having mum there makes it that much more special,” Dean said.

Three things each Wiener will take on tour

1. T.W. Sherrin
2. Red jocks
3. Extra batting grips

1. Complete works of William Shakespeare
2. Low cut Speedos
3. Three sets of batting gloves

1. Clean jocks
2. Speedos
3. Foam roller


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