Aims of the Academy
The Gordon Cricket Academy (“The Academy”) was set up in 2000 as an operating entity within the Gordon District Cricket Club with the following mission statement:
“The Academy’s aim is to focus on the development of Junior Players (Under 21) from within the Gordon district and beyond in order to maximize their potential development and performances in relation to cricket as well as assisting in their overall personal development.”
By setting up an Academy we believe the following benefits will be achieved:
Players with talent will have their development focused under the program and maximise their opportunities to progress from their School and Junior teams into Grade Cricket and potentially into first grade and higher representative cricket.
Let the players know that the club is actively taking an interest in both their cricket and personal development through our high level skills sessions, our communication sessions and our Alliance with Macquarie University
Create a culture for these players that will strengthen the Gordon District Cricket Club and their future role as contributing members.
How the Academy operates
The Academy is spilt into 4 divisions, the Junior Development Squad, the Green Shield Squad, the Under 19 Development Squad and the Under 21 High Performance Squad.
The reason for having four divisions is to recognise that the commitments to School and different stages of personal development require a different approach to the management of each member’s cricketing ability.
Membership into the Academy is based on invitation only from the Academy Management Committee. Players invited may be current members of our club or players identified as future club members. These may be players who are not in a position to play for the club at the present time due to their age, their school commitments or where they live (country etc.)
The four divisions are described as follows:
Junior Development Squad
This division is made up of players from 12 to 14 years of age who have displayed a high level of skill within their school, club or representative cricket and can be assisted further with high level coaching. This squad is designed to form the basis of our future Green Shield squad and is intended to allow them to access a level of coaching they have not experienced to date in their short careers.
The squad will have access to high level coaches including former Test cricketer Bruce Edgar in a specifically designed program over a 6 week period during the winter months. The program will set them up to develop their skills and be ready for the demands of Green Shield cricket as they hone their cricketing skills and their mental capacity to manage them effectively.
Green Shield Squad
This squad is made up of players who have been selected in the official Green Shield Squad to play within the SCA A.W Green Shield Competition representing the Gordon District Cricket Club. The squad will also have access to high level coaches including former Test and First Class cricketers in a specifically designed program over a 4 month period from the start of the pre-season to the completion of the Green Shield matches. The program will not only include the development of their individual skill sets but also the broader strategies of cricket matches and how to contribute to a team environment.
This squad will have net, fielding and communication sessions from October through to the end of January.
Under 19 Development Squad
The Under 19 Division is made up mostly of players who have played in the club’s Green Shield team and their priority is now their school sport and studies.
While School is obviously a priority it is our goal to keep these players within the Gordon “family” and provide high level skills training through specific sessions including a weekend session, matches against School and University teams and importantly through an invitation to join the Club’s training sessions on Tuesday’s and work with the first grade squad when available. They will also have access to sessions that include communications, team building, fitness and nutrition. While many of the Academies programs are free of charge through our sponsorship, a fee to cover costs only is agreed with this squad prior to starting.
Every opportunity is also made for these players to attend Grade Training sessions when time permits with their school responsibilities. We want these Academy members to feel they are part of the club.
Under 21 High Performance Division
The Under 21 division consists of invited players whom the committee believe have the potential at this stage of their development to become Gordon First grade players or higher. Invitation to become an Under 21 Academy member is on a season by season basis and can be reviewed at any time if the player’s attitude or performance does not meet the standards of the Academy.
To date the Academy has produced some 30 players who have played first grade for the club and 5 who have progressed to NSW 2nd XI level.
The Under 21 Squad has full access to the Club’s coaching staff and high level sessions with coaches for all disciplines are organised throughout the pre-season and early season up to the selection of the Poidevin Gray teams. The Squad will also have acccess to our head coaches for “one on one” sessions during the year. Members of the Under 21 Squad are generally existing club grade players, however the Committee may from time to time include a younger player who shows exceptional skills.
A “”full day” session will be run for the Under 21 Squad during the pre-season which will include specialist coaches and guest speakers, and a personalised goal setting plan will be established for each player for the season.
The Academy in 2012-13 is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark O’Neill as the Under 21 Academy head coach and Bruce Edgar as the Under 16 Academy Head coach.
Mark will return from the UK before the start of the season and will also coach our 1st grade squad. Bruce, a former NZ Test opening bat with a highest score of 161 against Australia will provide specialist coaching in all areas of the game.
Mark and Bruce will utilise the skills of several coaches as the Academy season progresses and these include Matt Nicholson (fast bowling), Ed Howitt (spin), Steve Smith (batting), Iain Beverley (Keeping) and Michael Falk (Level 2) is also used for his general coaching skills.
Each player receives an individually tailored program designed to concentrate and accelerate their cricket education and will be judged on performance and potential, the latter being assessed in the five core areas of technical, tactical, physical, mental, and lifestyle capabilities of playing at the highest level. Performances will be judged in the context of their attitude and participation in the team environment and not solely on weight of runs, wickets taken, or dismissals achieved.
Part of the mission of the Academy is to assist in the overall personal development of the members and to this end the Academy will run several “communication” sessions, which will include well known cricket identities passing on their experiences to help the players to identify the benefits to be gained from cricket as a team sport.
Alliance with Macquarie University
The Club has an established alliance with Macquarie University and based on various academic and cricket capabilities, members of the Academy are chosen for Scholarships at the University. The Alliance has provided many scholarships over the length of its association with the Academy and plans to extend these in the years to come.
The Academy also plays matches against School teams and combined grade teams. This enables the Academy coaches to analyse the skills of the players in match conditions, particularly when an Academy member does not play grade for the club at this stage.
This season we plan to play Academy matches against various schools, other Green Shield teams prior to the competition starting, as well as inter Academy matches such as the annual Evans vs. Colley match. We also plan to play a match against the Macquarie University Under 23 team.
Additional games against skilled opposition can be scheduled depending upon player and school commitments.
Each Academy team is captained by a Gordon first grade player for the purpose of providing on field guidance.
The Academy has operated over the last 12 years through the generous sponsorship of Peter Horwitz from The Horwitz Group. Peter is a former Gordon First Grade cricketer and long term supporter of the Club and the Green Shield team. Peter is actively involved within the Academy committee and his assistance each season is greatly appreciated. Peter is also a Cricket Australia Level 3 Coach.
The schedule of sessions and games is adjusted each year to suit the requirements of the members and the club. Sessions are designed to supplement other activities of the member, and due to these commitments attendance at each session is not mandatory.
The games are played during school holidays or on a weekend when available and we use the Gordon First grade ground when available or the various school grounds.
Summary of Academy Structure
The overall goal of the Gordon Cricket Academy is to improve the performance of the Club within the Sydney Grade Competition and maintain this for the years to come. The major goal of the Gordon District Cricket Club is to develop its juniors and provide them with the best opportunity to play grade cricket or higher. The table below shows how the Academy fits into a junior cricketers’ development.
An application for the Under 16 Green Shield Trial Squad can be completed electronically by following the link below: