VITAL THOUGHTS: Former Australian and Queensland cricket coach John Buchanan. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker
VITAL THOUGHTS: Former Australian and Queensland cricket coach John Buchanan. Picture: AAP Image/Richard Walker

A cold beer with . . . see what master coach thinks

JOHN Buchanan was the mastermind behind the Queensland Bulls first Sheffield Shield in 1995 that ended 69 years of heartache. He then moved on to the Australian team where from 89 Tests matches Australia won 70, three Ashes, two World Cups and the huge mountain of a Test series win in India for the first time in 36 years.

I put on my floppy hat and plenty of sunscreen to talk Ipswich, cricket, league and coaching with Buchanan.

What are your memories of growing up in Ipswich? Mum and dad owned the Shell at Wacol so I was born at Ipswich Hospital and lived the first six years of my life at Wacol. When we moved to the Coast I went to the Southport School and came back to play sport against Ipswich Grammar.

Queensland cricketers tend to love league. Which player do you think could have made the transition to league? Andrew Symonds thinks he could be a league player. He was very keen in 2001 to give it a go and came and told Steve Waugh and myself he was ready to try. I think after a few training sessions Wayne Bennett said stick with cricket. Jimmy Maher loves his Bulldogs too and saw himself as a potential half.

You are coaching with Wests. Would you ever get back involved at state or international level again? No, never again. It just takes up so much time to be involved at that level and the commitment is massive. I coach at club level and do some mentoring for the Bulls coach Wade Seccombe. I also have my business interests which keep me busy.

Club cricket would be very similar to coaching ISC. What are the challenges that a semi-professional level can throw up? The skill level is the obvious one, then with that the inconsistency. At state and International level, they have found that consistency that club players might not have yet.

You are also dealing with people that are working full-time, so you have to get your coaching done at night a few nights a week. It is harder to build relationships too; you are not with each other as much as you would be with the Queensland and Australian team.

However, you get to know players' brothers, sisters and family because you see them every week and that's rewarding.

Did you have a favourite type of player to coach? Players that love to learn and improve, that is all any coach wants. I coached many players that fall into that category. Justin Langer had a thirst to improve and Michael Hussey falls into that category.

The Jets have a new coach in 2020, what advice would you give Keiron Lander? He has to be sure about what his principles are going to be, what does he value and that cannot change. How he delivers, it might and he might do it differently for different players but his values and principals have to be known and unchanged. Players need to know that every day, session and game that he is going to turn up and have that core value.



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