First-rate mentor is all for the club
“It’s always about the club.”
That’s the fundamental tenet which has guided Centrals first grade coach Scott Barrett’s approach to the role he has held since 2009/10.
Another pillar of the life member’s regime has been to develop players from the Kookaburras’ own clutch of juniors.
Remarkably, this desire to promote from within has resulted in the current first grade crop comprising 90 per cent homegrown talent.
It has also led the club to become an Ipswich West Moreton Cricket Association powerhouse that beat the best teams of the decade in grand finals to claim two of the last four premierships.
While Centrals have won seven titles if Warwick Road Sports and Western Division are included, the first in the club’s merged history came against Laidley in 2016/17.
Brothers stole the 2017/18 crown before the Limestone Park outfit exacted its revenge in 2018/19, returning to the top with a dominant pace attack handing them victory over the blue and white.
The Kookas have also proven the IWMCA’S premier short-form team, taking out four of seven grand finals.
In fact, this latest season was the first time Centrals had missed the T20 final in that competition’s brief history.
A far cry from the force they are today when he took the reins, success did not come instantly under Barrett.
Requiring a heavy focus on upskilling and developing players, the formative five years of his tenure laid the platform on which to capitalise in seasons to come.
Barrett learned the art of man management mentoring his 26-year-old son Luke’s junior sides right through the grades until under-16s.
For him, coaching is not simply about teaching skills.
He believes a taskmaster must earn his charges’ trust, get to know their different personalities and determine the expectations of each individual.
“Everyone has got skills,” he said.
“You have to evolve as the game evolves.
“The one percenters are the difference between winning and losing.
“The players have got to want it.”
After stepping up to coach the top flight, his first act was to invite the under-16s to train with the seniors.
It was thought this would foster an inclusive positive culture, fast track player progression and ensure they were ready to stand in when called upon.
The move proved a masterstroke, with the club reaping the rewards of being more united than ever.
Results in recent years speak for themselves.
Centrals are now known as the club to go to for young players looking to further their careers
Anchored near the top of first grade, the Kookaburras also have a thriving sustainable nursery, with promising players rolling off the factory line regularly.
This achievement will be a key part of Barrett’s legacy.
Experienced player and former club captain Wayne Jones said the level two accredited coach was a tremendous asset, with his emphasis on development and ability to relieve pressure from players and make them feel comfortable at the next level his greatest strengths.
He said opening up effective dialogue with players regarding potential improvements assured everyone knew where they stood and which direction the team was headed, and this created an auspicious environment.
“He offers good guidance and mentoring,’ Jones said.
“He is really easy to approach and is a good fun-loving guy.
“He is a really good bloke.
“No one feels out of place.”
Jones said Barrett also made significant contributions as a groundsman, scorer and in other official capacities.
He said he was an extremely hardworking person and the club had recognised his devotion with a life membership.