Alex Blackwell and CNSW Academy Illawarra-Southern squad
Players from the Cricket NSW Academy Illawarra-Southern girls squad were given the opportunity to rub shoulders with some Lend Lease Breakers today during their training camp at the “What’s Your Plan B” SCG Indoor Centre (July 11).
The Illawarra-Southern girls took part in a range of batting, bowling and fielding drills under the watchful eyes of NSW captain Alex Blackwell, Erin Osborne, Sarah Aley and young Breakers all-rounder Stefanie Daffara, who is also an Academy Development Coach for the region.
In addition, Blackwell held a question and answer session with the five time World Champion providing valuable advice on a range of issues.
“One of the big tips I gave them was to seek feedback, and to know that the feedback was coming from a place of care. If someone actually sits down with you and says you need to work on something, they are doing that because they want you to be a better player. It is important not to take it personally and to seek out people for feedback,” she said.
“They also asked me about my experience as an Australian player and some of the challenges and highlights. I pointed out that cricket can sometimes be a tough game, but things can turn around very quickly. There have been so many highs and lows in my career and sometimes they’ve been just two games apart!”
The initiative to bring regional Academy squads to Sydney was started just last season, providing young cricketers from outside of Sydney with access to the top class facilities and specialist coaches available at Cricket NSW.
“I think that these girls are really fortunate to have these squads because for me, coming from the Riverina, there weren’t that many girls playing,” admitted Blackwell.
“The programs that are in place now for regional cricketers are wonderful so I am glad that these girls have every opportunity to make it to the next level.”
Stefanie Daffara was once part of Cricket NSW’s Development Programs in the Illawarra-Southern region before moving through the ranks and earning a place in the Lend Lease Breakers squad at the start of last summer.
Daffara is now working as a Development Coach with the new crop of young talent and her State captain believes that this role is an excellent yardstick through which to gauge the progress of her career.
“This role will give Stef some perspective on how much she has grown as a cricketer. It was not that long ago that she was in a squad like this and now she’s part of the Lend Lease Breakers. It will show her how much she has really grown as a cricketer so she can be excited about how much she’s achieved so far in her career.”