The NSW Breakers have signed experienced mentor Gavan Twining to be their Head Coach for the 2021-22 WNCL season.
Twining scored 6,921 runs in a first grade cricket career spanning 17 seasons at two clubs, Parramatta and Wests, but it is off the field as a coach – or more aptly a teacher – where ‘Gav’ has made the biggest impact.
Twining comes to the Breakers from his role as a coach in the CNSW Pathway system and assistant to Greg Shipperd at the Sydney Sixers where he has helped guide the men in magenta to a pair of BBL titles in the last two seasons.
All up, Twining has spent six seasons with the Sixers under Shipperd, as well as part of an earlier season with Trevor Bayliss.
Before he began working full time at CNSW in 2015 and while he was on the books part time as a Pathways assistant, Twining was an educator, working at various schools in Sydney as both a cricket coach and a PDHPE teacher – roles he believes have helped guide him to the state’s premier women’s cricket coaching job.
“I think being an educator teaches communication and people management, both of which are just so important in coaching – you’re doing it all the time in classroom,” Twining said.
“While you’re teaching you learn that people are different and take in information in different ways. You get pretty good at learning different individual cues and messaging to be able to then get the best out of each individual.
“In coaching you need to tailor your communication to each person in a way that they understand and engage with so you can hopefully get the best out of them.”
Twining said he saw no problems at all switching from predominantly coaching in the men’s game to coaching women or from Pathways to the elite.
“To me a cricketer is a cricketer, all of them want to get better, all want to improve,” he said.
“All the skills are the same, no matter who you are. You may communicate differently between the men’s and women’s teams or players experienced and less experienced but essentially it’s the same.
“It goes back to those things learnt as a teacher and finding the best way to communicate with each individual.”
Breakers captain and Australian Women’s Team star Alyssa Healy said Twining’s appointment was a breath of fresh air.
“I think it’s really exciting to have Gav on board,” Healy said.
“He was a really great candidate amongst a host of great candidates for this job. We feel the Breakers’ job is a prestigious role within cricket in this country and Gav is befitting of that role.
“Gav interviewed incredibly well and he has been involved in our program behind the scenes in recent years and was a great help during the COVID period last summer.”
Healy said Twining’s time spent alongside Shipperd and in the men’s Pathways was a huge boost to the women’s program.
“It’s great for us seeing Gav come across to our program and being so keen to pass on his experiences,” she said.
“He’s been open to sharing what he’s learnt from some great coaches in the BBL. Just the confidence he has in situations and the lessons he has learnt are going to be invaluable to us.”
The 2021/22 season WNCL fixture is expected to be announced this week.