Zeller, Australian Women's Coach
World's exclusive interview with Brad Zeller, the Australian Women's
Indoor Cricket Team's coach, continues.
Cricket World: Is it true that the Australian Women
have not lost a game with you as coach?
It is true the Women have not lost a match on my shift and
in fact ever since they have toured regularly with the Mens team
(from 1997), they have lost only one. That was at last year's
World Cup, from which I had to withdraw as I had just purchased
Indoor Sports at Toowoomba. Much to South Africa's demise though,
they celebrated too hard too early over that win and only inspired
the Aussie Women to hit back harder.
seen almost all the very best Australian women indoor cricket
players, but who is the best non-Australian woman player
are so many players that come to mind when you make a comparison
of this nature. Unfortunately many of them have the same problem
with discipline and fall short in the end. Two players have impressed
me more than others though, and they are Penny Brown from England
and Losi Harford from New Zealand. And even though I was not in
South Africa I heard some very good reports about a woman called
Hanri Strydom, certainly a player of the future by all reports.
is it that impressed you the most about Penny and Losi?
has a fantastic quality in that she leads from the front and refuses
to be intimidated by others. Losi's best quality was her batting
ability, and her approach to the game, which was no fuss. However,
I did get the feeling that Losi felt if she did not get a high
score when opening then the game would be over. I suspect this
would sometimes lead to wrong shot selection, and against the
better teams like Australia that is suicidal.
eminent indoor cricketer recently told me, ruefully, that "only
men play this game in Australia". This person was bemoaning the
fact that the women's game receives less coverage and less apparent
interest than the men. If this is the case, what needs to be done,
and by whom?
will always receive more recognition and most of the women players
acknowledge that. They play a different, more physical game. That's
not to say they work harder because the majority don't. But promotion
of the sport in general will benefit all participants, including
the women, so that's worth looking at in more detail.
we get to publicise this sport should be taken. Take our local
paper in Toowoomba, The
Chronicle. They will publish anything to do with sport for no
cost. A local flea race would get coverage. Their attitude is
fantastic and I use it as often as I can. This is a town that
has 100,000 people with another 30,000 in the surrounding areas
so it is not that small. I even get our in-house results published.
I know in the major cities it is not possible but I know they
have local papers also (in Brisbane anyway), so lets use them.
If it is a story it does not cost anything.
On a wider
scale, the AICF has taken steps to develop the game at the National
level: for example development squads have now been introduced
for under 21 men and women. This is a great stepping stone for
them to the Open teams, especially the women as in the past that
next step has always been a huge one. A couple of years in, this
should greatly reduce that step.
We all need
to help in the quest for promotion and advertising and pass on
any tips. There is too much secrecy in this industry when it comes
to good ideas for fear of it actually working for somebody else.
We now have web sites as another tool and I still believe sponsorship
is available. Lets be realistic though, there were athletes that
competed at the recent Olympics that won gold medals that still
struggle for recognition. However, it is not impossible because
we have a fantastic, fun and exciting product. I cannot remember
the last person I spoke to that played and actually said they
did not enjoy it.
Here we have
a game that can provide competitions for ages 4 to 60, (yes I
do have a lady in my centre that plays and is 60 years old). For
that matter there is a man that is 55 this year and I swear he
is one of the keenest players going around, to the point where
he still has the desire to play at our Zone Titles. It is a tough
area for all concerned, but no matter how small the ad or promotion
it all helps.
Lets get to
the public through shopping centre promotions, at local markets,
whatever (just brainstorming now). Let's promote this game before
it is too late. I don't think I am being too dramatic but some
action needs to be taken. At the very least, a national forum
with opinions from everyone being listened to and worked on from
there. I'm starting to rave here, but it is an issue close to
my heart. (ICW: It's okay Brad,
we've been known to rave on this very issue ourselves).
be continued . . .
the next installment, Brad talks about coaching. If you've ever
wondered just what the Australian coach does when his team is
playing, check it out --- due mid-December 2001.
Zeller Interview Part
1 | Part 2 | Part
3 | Part 4
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