The 28-year-old, who was selected as the Perth Scorchers Community Rookie last season, attributes his love of cricket to his father and is driven to achieve a personal goal of becoming the first Wadjuk Balardong Nyoongar to play for WA.
Having played country cricket for 10 years, Ugle moved to the big smoke and made a name for himself in grade cricket with Rockingham-Mandurah.
“I’m really enjoying playing cricket at the moment and I’m looking forward to what the future holds,” Ugle said. “It’s all about working hard and being dedicated.”
When discussing the rise in the number of young Aboriginal cricketers, Ugle believes the pull into AFL is still considerably stronger within Aboriginal communities.
“A lot of young Aboriginal kids are exposed to a lot of AFL players and tend to choose that path.
“The excitement factor of T20 cricket and other tournaments, like the Imparja Cup and National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC), put elite Aboriginal players on the map and that gives the younger generation someone to look up to.”
The increased investment from the WACA, which includes employing Larry Kickett in the role of Aboriginal Programs Coordinator, has seen the number of Aboriginal cricketers rise by 38% over the past two years.
"We might not see a result from this for a few years, but we are putting in the platform now, laid the foundations. I think we will certainly see some results," Kickett said.
He also believes 20/20 cricket could be the key to the rise in the number of Aboriginal cricketers.
Alcohol.Think Again Western Warriors Assistant Coach Geoff Marsh spent some time in Alice Springs for the NICC last season and was bowled over by the level of spirit he saw and how keen the Aboriginal players were.
“It’s really exciting to see the young kids at the Imparja Cup embracing cricket and loving what they’re doing, getting into the batting and bowling,” Marsh said.
“The 20/20 format has really helped. It’s a shorter format and there’s a lot of action and they like that.
Marsh can see there is a lot of talent within the Aboriginal community.
"A lot of the kids love their AFL and we need to use that talent in cricket.
“I know that if we put the time, effort and resources into these kids and develop their skill in cricket we’ll hopefully see them out there playing for Australia one day.”
Following his time with the WA Indigenous XI, Marsh has taken Ugle under his wing, offering him advice and support on a regular basis.
Marsh is motivated to make sure he provides Ugle with every opportunity to be the best player he can be.
“We all want to see Dane make it into the state squad and represent his state and country.
“The WACA is trying very hard to get as many kids playing as possible. There’s talent out there and we have to make them want to play cricket, which is what Larry Kickett is focused on.”