Stepping Up in
South Australia’s Scorpions were back on Adelaide Oval in early June to kick off an intense pre-season after falling short of the Women’s National Cricket League final last year.
A relatively established side has welcomed some fresh faces into the training squad, resulting in a good mix of experience and youth.
Pathway strength and conditioning coach Anthony Gallomarino has been impressed with the squad’s commitment and intensity so early in the campaign.
“The girls have really been focusing on aerobic fitness and a lot of running mechanics work. (Fast bowler) Katelyn Pope has been the standout of the group, smashing PBs in all areas, while a couple of the new girls have been particularly impressive with the way they have approached sessions and coped with the demands,” Gallomarino said.
The Scorpions have attended a new location to train one night a week under lights, which has allowed the team to execute intense fielding drills and game scenarios requiring wide, open spaces.
“We have also extended training hours, which has made the girls feel more like professional athletes,” said coach Andrea McCauley.
“The attitude from all players has been really terrific and the newcomers (to the training squad) have performed well and are fitting into the team culture exactly how I had hoped.”
Sarah Lowe working on strengthening techniques.
Katelyn Pope offers encouragement.
Eliza Doddridge and Brooke Harris warming up.
Young seamer Nick Winter set the pace at the 2km time trial of the Adelaide Uni loop that opened the Redbacks’ pre-season. Winter finished ahead of the pack with a time of 6 minutes, 45 seconds, while Chadd Sayers and Harry Nielsen rounded out the top three in under seven minutes.
The mood in the indoor centre was electric as the newest Redbacks assembled for their first day of class and the senior group led an outstanding opening session.
West End Redbacks coach Jamie Siddons praised the energy and effort of the team on its arrival back at training.
“They’re all looking like they’re ready to roll and look a lot better than they were two years ago for instance,” he said.
“The key is to keep learning and keep getting better and as the boys grow hopefully they’ll get that confidence to win those big games.”
A personal development-turned-fitness camp in picturesque – but chilly – Victor Harbor followed and the group was not perturbed by the stunning sunrise and views on offer at Horseshoe Bay. Instead, physical performance manager Stephen Schwerdt and Pathway strength and conditioning coach Anthony Gallomarino put the squad through its paces in an intense boxing session. A series of character-building and leadership sessions rounded out the trip as the players continued to learn preparation off the wicket to ensure optimal concentration and performance in the middle.
Each week in the pre-season the squad battles it out in a badminton session at Walkerville YMCA. The sessions are designed to add variety to training. Kane Richardson, who has a vast collection of NBA singlets, came up with the idea for each player to don his favourite sports kit and add to the competitiveness and banter of the day. The Portland Trailblazers fan left a little bit to be desired on the court, however, not quite displaying the sort of pace and ferocity that strikes fear into opposing batsmen.
The Redbacks continue to train harder in pursuit of the national crown after making the Sheffield Shield final two years running. These finals appearances were in no small way attributed to the strict program set in place by Schwerdt. He has reinforced the importance of endurance and stamina in cricket, witnessed first-hand in five days of gruelling Alice Springs heat at last summer’s final. Along with the emphasis on fielding from the boss – who has taken the most catches in domestic first-class history – the Redbacks’ engine will be firing on all cylinders for the season ahead.
The Redbacks’ diverse training regime includes everything from badminton to go-karting.
Cameraderie is taken to a new level as the players mix things up in NBA and AFL singlets.
Nick Winter, Cameron Valente and Harry Nielsen practise fielding techniques.