We take confidence and form to Perth Posted 11 November 2012 by Travis Head

09-190912 Travis Head 240x360 whiteTravis Head reflects in his first Bupa Sheffield Shield win with the West End Redbacks

Hi Redbacks fans,

What a great feeling to be a part of that match against Tasmania! There were seven players in that team that enjoyed their first win in the Bupa Sheffield Shield. To be amongst that group was very relieving and a great feeling; it’s a moment I’ll never forget.

It was great for our fans to see that result. They have stuck by us for the past few years when it’s been tough, so for them to see the improvement against Queensland and then the win in Hobart is fantastic. The improvement has been there and with guys like Phil Hughes, Dan Christian and our pace bowlers in great form, hopefully we can go over to Perth and do it all again. We want to take that winning momentum because we're playing some good cricket at the moment.

It’s hard to say I feel comfortable at Shield level yet, but I feel good. Obviously the start of the season hasn’t been great personally, but I felt good against Tasmania and all year I’ve felt ok, I just haven’t been able to get the runs on the board yet. It was great to bat some time with Fergy and put on a good partnership. It was a really important part of the game, so we wanted to stay positive. It was that sort of wicket where if you try and defend you’d get in trouble.

While the wicket was tough, I don’t mind playing on green seamers. It’s hard work and cricket is a hard game at this level. To make a good score, you take a lot of confidence out of that and I will try and do the same this week in Perth.

Let’s hope we can back it up this week and continue our winning form!



Great to break the drought Posted 4 November 2012 by Darren Berry

11-041112 Shield win courtesy MercuryThe West End Redbacks celebrate a milestone win over Tasmania. Pix: Courtesy Hobart Mercury

Redbacks’ fans – what a great feeling it is to get the monkey off our back. I can tell you yesterday’s win in the Bupa Sheffield Shield was the culmination of more than a year's work and planning, and plenty of blood, sweat and tears. We knew we were a good unit, and have shown that by being dominant in the short forms of the game, but there was no hiding that we were without a win in the four day format since November 2010.  By winning out-right against Tasmania, a very classy outfit and one which we have great respect for, it gives our players the confidence and self-belief that we are all heading in the right direction.

If you think back to that game in November 2010, also at Hobart, and the guys who were in that team - like Michael Klinger, Daniel Christian and Callum Ferguson. They know how hard this has been and what it feels like to win. They were in the rooms yesterday to go through it all again with the youngsters in our 2012 team – blokes like Travis Head, Kane Richardson and first gamer Sam Raphael. They were all hugely excited, and I’ve got to say, pretty relieved.  It’s great to see how the group responded when they needed to – for Travis to stand up and make 75 in tough conditions, and then the experience of Daniel Christian, who turned the game for us, no doubt about it.

The cool head of captain Johan Botha was also critical; we could see him working out how to win, and that’s when it came down to him and Christo, the wise heads, to shut down the Tigers and get that win.

We’ve had a good week down here, with a big win in the Ryobi One Day Cup, where we picked up the bonus point, and then full points from this match. So we’re going home with 11 points from our week in Hobart, so the wheel is turning, no doubt.

I hope this win gives our fans some enjoyment. I know you’ve been starved of success for a couple of seasons, but we’re on track, and there are plenty of positives for Redbacks’ supporters.

Talk to you soon; getting ready for our roadtrip to WA this week.



Great confidence for Tassie road trip Posted 28 October 2012 by Darren Berry

DarrenBerryDarren Berry is confident ahead of this week's matches in Tasmania

Hi Redbacks fans,

Reflecting on the past seven days, I thought it was one of our best weeks collectively as a group in both formats. We had a convincing win in the Ryobi One Day Cup and gained a bonus point; that was a great confidence booster. I reckon that took us into the Sheffield Shield match and after the first two days of that match, we were right in the driver’s seat. We had a bad third day with the ball and in the field and sadly we lost first innings points, however the boys fought on hard. On day four, we had the Shield champions 6/128 and really fighting for their life. So it has been a really positive week and hopefully some good signs heading down to Hobart against a really good side.

Looking at Tuesday’s Ryobi One Day Cup game it’s a great challenge again for the group. The last two games against Tasmania have been tight. We had the tie in last season’s final, and then the last game in Adelaide I honestly believe we should have won. A number of little things went against us and we had Daniel Christian stranded on 80 not out. It says we are fairly evenly matched up against them so down on their turf at Blundstone Arena, we don’t know what we’re going to get. We’re confident with the unchanged side we’ve got, we believe in our game plan in the one-day format and we have a settled unit.

We have the Bupa Sheffield Shield match starting Thursday and it won’t be an easy challenge down there. I have a lot of respect for Tasmania and the way they’ve gone about it the last few years. They play their conditions well down in Hobart, so it’s a challenge for our group to take another step forward in this format.

Just finally, at the end of the day the coach can say whatever he likes, but it’s how the players feel, how they embrace what happens on the field and how they go about their business. In the one-day format, they know they’ve got a good formula, they know the game plan works and they stick to it. In the Bupa Sheffield Shield, we’re still finding answers as a group but the last match against Queensland was a real positive step forward. To have them six wickets down and holding on for their lives was great and hopefully that confidence can be reflected this week in Hobart.


Back in the winner's circle! Posted 22 October 2012 by Kane Richardson

10-211012 Richo200Richo celebrates one of his six wickets v Queensland in the Ryobi One Day Cup win!

It’s fantastic to be back on the winning side again! Thanks for all the great feedback and comments from our fans after yesterday’s win against XXXX Gold Queensland Bulls. The guys were pumped after Sunday night’s win at Adelaide Oval. It was great to deliver a win to our supporters – and even better to do it with such a big win. A bonus point is always very handy to grab, and sometimes they come in very handy later in the season.

Personally, it was great to be back in the side. It was a tough winter for me, I had a few niggling injuries but it’s great now to be back in the mix and contribute; it’s really enjoyable.

Sunday was just one of those days I guess where you don’t bowl as well as you think you could and those results are going to happen. The other guys like Nathan Lyon and Daniel Worrall bowled the house down and only took 1/50. That’s one day cricket but I’m pretty happy to take it though!
It is one of those formats where one over can change the complexion of a match and I was lucky enough to get on a roll, so I was obviously really happy with the way it panned out.

It’s hard to say what happens when that momentum starts in a game. Getting the wicket of Khawaja was really important for the team, he was playing a great innings and was looking very dangerous so that was a bonus. In the match last week against Tasmania it showed how hard it can be to get started as a new batsman, so that can play a part when sides take quick wickets and it was the case on Sunday.

It’s important for the team now to take this winning momentum into the Bupa Sheffield Shield match against the Bulls this week. With guys like Hughesy and Maxy in great form, there’s no reason why we can’t take it up to Queensland and be right in the contest for all four days. Win, lose or draw, I’m sure that all Redbacks fans want is for the squad to be competitive and show the steely resolve that we all talk about.

Thanks again for all the positive feedback and support, can’t wait to get over to Tasmania and get one back on them!


Cricket is back launch Posted 20 October 2012 by Callum Ferguson

10-181012 Ferg and Clarke Milo photo CAAt the Sydney 'Cricket is Back' launch, Ferg fields in the slips with some Milo In2Cricket kids while 'Pup' Clarke tries to sweep!

It’s been a big week – I was lucky to spend Monday in Sydney for the “Cricket’s Back” launch for Cricket Australia. It’s a buzz hanging out with Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and some of the real legends of our game. The setting was just on the edge of Circular Quay, with the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Opera House in the background. Quite the setting for a game of cricket with some of the Milo in2CRICKET kids. Pup and I were involved in a pretty fierce battle with some of the little tackers – but it was all good fun. Positive signs there, cricket fans - lots of good talent there coming through the ranks.

The launch was a good time to catch up with some of my mates – it’s been a long winter, but now cricket is back. Each state sent someone along – from SA, it was myself, new captain Johan Botha, Phillip Hughes and Nathan Lyon - and there were plenty of former-Australian players on hand to lend their support as well. We had heaps of photo shoots and interviews, met lots of kids, went to the lunch, and then headed back on the plane home. And for me, it was back to training the next day.

We’ve got quite a light week for the West End Redbacks – we’ve had back to back matches against XXXX Gold Queensland Bulls and Tasmanian Tigers. Sadly the results were not great, but the group has spent a bit of time this week working on what we need to tweak to get it right. We know we can do it, something just needs to click and then we will be set on track.

It’s a strange draw – we play Queensland and Tasmania again in the next couple of weeks, starting with a Ryobi One Day Cup match against Queensland on Sunday afternoon. We have good form in the 50 over format, so the boys will be right. Stick with us. The coaching staff and all the players are doing everything right in training, in our fitness and in the strategic planning we do for our matches – it’s now up to us to pull it off on the park.


A new direction for the Redbacks; stick with us Posted 10 October 2012 by Darren Berry

Chuck_Blog_picDarren Berry with SACA President ian McLachlan before play on day one,

Yesterday was a special occasion for cricket in South Australia, as is any ”day one” of your first home match. It is always fantastic for the players to walk on to their home turf, Adelaide Oval, for their first time in a summer, and it was great to see a bunch of our fans come out to show their support. Sadly, it wasn’t our finest day in the field and we missed some chances and paid a price, but there are three days left in this match and the playing group remains positive. It’s a great pitch as we know and if we show the same discipline that Tasmania did, I have no doubt we can put on a big score and put the pressure back on them.

I want to talk about our new captain and what a significant change it is for the West End Redbacks. He will have a profound effect on this group of cricketers. He is an aggressive character on the field and he is a really good leader of men.  He has spoken to all the players quite honestly about where we stand. He is a no frills, let’s get down to work style of captain, and you saw in the KFC T20 Big Bash last year just what kind of competitor he is. Yesterday was a tough start for him, but you could sense after play how positive he remained and that’s just the person he is. It was great though to see him get his first wicket and you could really sense how much it meant and how determined he was.

Looking at the start of our season, it is a tough draw to start with, no doubt about that. We take on the best two teams from last year in the first four matches. From my point of view, that’s a great test for us. We’re going to know after these first four matches exactly where we sit in the picture. It will give us a good gauge of ‘is this group showing some changes’. It’s what Redbacks fans are asking for and what I’m asking for. Please don’t lose hope after one game, but after two or three matches I expect to see some improvement.

We have a young group and people have to remember that. Our two opening bowlers have played less than 20 first-class matches between them. Our bowling group as a whole is young and while there is a lot of exciting talent, we must remain patient with them.

Plenty of cricket left in this match; the challenge is ahead of us.

Speak to everyone soon,


Redbacks ready to go for season opener Posted 28 September 2012 by Darren Berry

DarrenBerryChuck is confident in the new leadership group and the new direction that the West End Redbacks are taking

We’re ready to go Redbacks fans. After finishing our final trial game and naming our first Bupa Sheffield Shield squad of 12, the boys are raring to get up to Brisbane and play for points. Great to see Phil Hughes roll into Adelaide and peel off 125 not out in our trial game. He’s jumping out of his skin to get up and be a real leader in our group. Phil Hughes and Nathan Lyon are two young players, only 23 and 24 years of age respectively, but you can tell the quality they both bring. I’m so excited to have these two working in conjunction with Johan Botha. It’s definitely a new direction, no doubt about it. It’s a strategic direction that myself and Jamie Cox have put together.

People ask me what I think about this coming season compared to last year. I think that last season I was obviously new to Adelaide. I’ve got a much better understanding of South Australian cricket and the group we have. We’ve made some significant changes in the off-season, and every coach at the start of the year is going to say how excited they are. But when I see these two young men

in Lyon and Hughes, and Johan Botha rings every second night asking how the boys are going and that he can’t wait, wishes he was here for the first match and he’s doing his best for the second match. That brings a new level of excitement and there’s some freshness in the group. I think some of our players like Tom Cooper and Callum Ferguson are really keen to make their mark this summer for South Australian Cricket and go to higher honours.

Another great thing for the squad has been the competition for spots. Over the last three days in a trial game, there are some players who have performed very well and not been selected. That’s something I’m not sure has always happened here. We had to leave three or four players out that have played a fair bit of cricket for South Australia. It’s a good position to be in, when people are in form and you’re not picking them as opposed to plucking someone and hoping they do well.

One final thing. We are very aware about our recent history in the Bupa Sheffield Shield, and we are clearly trying to take a different direction and that’s evident from what we’ve done this week and over the past six months. We’re going up to Brisbane this weekend with a new, fresh approach and a new group. There are no excuses; we feel we have a good team assembled, we’ve got good facilities, and we expect to perform.

Hopefully the next time I write we’ve just come back from Queensland with six points!