New Male Program Head Coach of both the Hobart Hurricanes and Tasmanian Tigers Adam Griffith, is looking forward to implementing a streamlined approach across all three formats for Tassie cricket – Shield, Limited Overs and now T20.
The former first-class fast bowler took the Tigers to the final of the JLT Sheffield Shield in his first season in charge, a marked improvement on Tasmania's recent results in four-day cricket.
Now ‘Griff’ has fellow Grand Finalists the Hurricanes to steer forward after Gary Kirsten’s departure.
So how is he feeling about this extra responsibility with Tigers pre-season already well underway…
When it comes to a big appointment like this under Gary’s circumstances, what’s your feeling about it?
Gary and I had quite a close working relationship by the end of the BBL last season, which is quite unique I think, the fact we did that so quickly.
You’re only here for a short period of time if you’re an international coach coming in and out.
So yeah it’s a bit bittersweet for me – Gary was still keeping in contact through the back-end of the Shield season and was following closely what we were doing in that space.
So it is, but really excited to have the opportunity and the privilege to Head Coach the Hurricanes.
What are your plans now moving forward Griff?
I love to work with my staff and the players, so I think in conjunction with those guys it’s going to be really exciting to be able to deliver the same message in the same direction for 12 months of the year.
Developing players just doesn’t happen in eight weeks, it happens over the whole course of 12 months and that’s the exciting thing for me.
We’ve got 14 players across both lists at the moment that we can continue their development on and off the field and just make them the best versions of themselves.
Are you surprised how quickly you’ve come in such a short time?
Well things happen fast I think, and yeah, it’s a little bit surprising I guess.
But you know, you don’t really get your head up out of the weeds enough when you’re into the day-to-day running of the program to really think about it too much.
You just tackle every challenge as it comes and it’s really exciting that I’ve got some pretty cool ideas we can do across both squads and looking forward to implementing those.
Do you feel ready to take on this big added responsibility?
Yeah I do. I’ve had a pretty good apprenticeship before coming here and even from my teaching days back before I was a player – I think the culmination of all that has given me enough experience to tackle it.
That’s not to say we’re going to win the whole thing and perform beautifully well, but I think I’ve got the right skills set to do that.
So what changes for you now Adam with the Hurricanes compared to Gary?
Well everyone has a different style and how they approach coaching.
Gary and I were a little bit different in the way we did things but we also had some similarities.
But as I said before, the continuity is probably going to be really important for me personally, and I think the messaging will be pretty similar across the squads.
My goal is we walk out one day with our green shirts on and everyone comes in wearing purple the next day, and we just keep moving along and doing what we do.
What’s the biggest thing you’ve learned coaching across these three different formats of Shield, One-Day and T20 cricket?
Ummm… I suppose it’s to be able to actually step back and not try to get everything done tomorrow.
That’s the biggest thing when you’re a young coach and you’re coming into a program, you want everything to be perfect straight away and put all your ideas out there.
But I think there comes a time when you actually need to step back and realise that it is a journey and you’re taking your players and your staff and the organisation on that journey.
Have you had any conversations with the players so far about Gary’s departure yet and what they can expect from you?
No – not as yet – we’re full-on into our Tigers pre-season now and like I said, three-quarters of the Hurricanes squad are Tigers players anyway.
So there’s not really any different message that I need to be telling them.
We’re solely focussed on preparing for the JLT One-Day Cup, Sheffield Shield and the Big Bash now so that’s my message to them.
How is the Tigers pre-season going?
It’s going really well. We’ve been on turf for a month (in the new winter cricket training marquee) so we’re very very happy at the moment. Very happy.
It’s actually pretty similar conditions to what it’s like in the middle – when the clouds come over it swings and when the sun beats through the top of the marquee it goes gun barrel.
So we keep a bit more grass on the wicket so it gets through a bit more and has got some pace on it.
But it’s been outstanding – I think the last two days, on Monday with our fielding and conditioning and yesterday with our competitive nets, it was probably the best two days I’ve had with the boys since I’ve been here I reckon.
So it’s pretty exciting…
Cricket Tasmania CEO Nick Cummins: The chance to train on turf in July is a huge competitive advantage over all other states at the moment, and we’ve got a lot of players from interstate expressing their jealousy which is good.
Which Tigers players are away at the moment Adam?
Jimmy Faulkner is over in the UK playing T20 cricket with Lancashire, Ben McDermott is in Canada playing T20 at the moment, and we’ve got Aaron Summers up in Darwin’s T20 Strike League, and then we’ve got a couple of boys that come in and out playing some club cricket in Darwin.
But the majority of the squad are all here which hasn’t happened for a while, which is also a good sign.