If you want to be the best, you need to learn from the best.
And, Newcastle youngsters will get the opportunity to do just that when Nathan Bracken fronts the latest Shaun Brown Cricket Coaching clinic in the Hunter next year.
The former Australian Test and ODI star heads up the organisation’s mentoring panel this summer at New Lambton.
Surprisingly, Bracken only played five Tests for the “green and gold” but took the field in 116 one day international fixtures, snaring 174 wickets at the brilliant average of 24.36.
In fact, the left-arm paceman was rated the top ODI bowler in the world in 2008.
Unfortunately, he announced his retirement from the game in 2011, due to a chronic knee injury.
However, he’ll be remembered for his great changes in pace, using slower balls to deceive batsmen all around the world.
Bracken admitted he was looking forward to visiting the region again.
“I live on the Central Coast and work in Newcastle, so I know the area well,” he said.
“But, since I’ve retired, I’ve done about 10 [Shaun Brown] clinics a year – I think I’m up to 100 now.
“And, even in 2020, there are plenty of kids coming through the door.
“I had my doubts though that it wasn’t going to happen a month ago, due to COVID-19.
“So, I’m thrilled they’re on the schedule again.”
Bracken said the Shaun Brown Cricket Coaching clinics were “good fun” for all involved, including himself.
“The kids just want to play, it’s that simple,” he explained.
“And, there are many with immense talent.
“I’ve noticed a lot of youngsters in the older age groups are happy to help others, or those new to the game, too.
“That’s great to see the children interacting.
“These camps are unique in that the different mentors look at various skill sets.
“It means the kids walk away from them with things to work on.
“Also, because it’s a comprehensive program, they return to their club coaches on areas to improve, whether it is batting, bowling or fielding.
“Shaun Brown has worked really hard on this concept.
“The kids definitely get a lot out of it.”
The camp will take place at Ford Oval on Thursday 21 January and Friday 22 January, from 9am to 3pm each day.
“It’s brilliant to have Nathan on board,” Brown said.
“He’s one of the best junior coaches in the business.
“Our camps provide an excellent learning experience for enthusiastic cricketers between the ages of seven and 16.
“The program covers every facet of cricket: Twenty20, one day and Test formats – all aimed at improving the participant’s skills, knowledge and enjoyment of the game.
“Each year, the clinics generate a great deal of interest among the local cricketing fraternity.
“And, over the past three decades, more than 60,000 players have improved their skills in all aspects of the game at the camps.
“It’s terrific to be able to involve former Test stars in areas that normally don’t get that exposure,” added Brown, a professional coach since 1987, who himself grew up playing junior cricket in regional areas.
The clinic features the use of video analysis, a thorough program and written reports for all who attend.
For more information about the camp, contact Shaun Brown on 0412 382 558 or log onto www.cricketcoaching.com.au