Talented academy players to benefit from the wisdom of WA country great

Cameron NewboldAlbany Advertiser
Country cricket legend Craig Tonkin is part of the coaching staff.
Camera IconCountry cricket legend Craig Tonkin is part of the coaching staff. Credit: Iain Gillespie

WA country cricket great Craig Tonkin and specialist coaches Ross Stephen and Ian Brayshaw are heading up the Great Southern’s WACA regional development academy, which was launched earlier this month.

Six players from the Great Southern have been chosen to be part of the regional program, which works closely with the Great Southern Sport Talent Association.

The selected players are Teague Valli, Jed Kowald, Jed Schwarzbach, Harvey Taylor, Devon Jefferis and O’Shea Durack.

The program was launched on September 7 when the players met the coaches and underwent preliminary fitness testing before a skills session was held this week.

The WACA Regional Development Academy is the primary high-performance pathway program in regional WA.

The program is skill-based and aimed at those players identified as talented through local club and association competitions, junior country week and WACA regional development carnivals.

WACA Great Southern cricket manager Tim Edmunds said the academy had lots of benefit for young players.

“The regional academy program supports under-13 to under-16 players in their development as cricketers and athletes in a professional learning environment, whilst gaining access to a higher level of coaching, mentoring and resources throughout the program,” he said. “The players also have access to their own personalised strength and conditioning program through South Coast Sports Medicine.

“This season we are keen to put a greater emphasis on coach development as well and ensure the Great Southern pathway coaches’ depth is increased by implementing a coach development plan for a small group of identified coaches who are going to receive some additional coach development opportunities through the academy program.

“Our players have access to some great knowledge from our experienced coaches.

“Craig’s background as a player is exceptional, but he also has a great appetite for coaching the next generation and has coached junior teams in the past.”

WACA country coach and talent specialist Job Van Bunge and country manager Steve Philippe were on hand for the launch.

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