The Newtown and Chilwell Cricket Club is proud to announce that Geelong cricket legend Rod Kiddle will coach the club in season 2014/2015.
“I can’t think of a better person to coach our club,” said N&CCC president Phil Morgan. “Rod, or Rocket has we know and love him, is one of the most decorated players in the history of Geelong cricket, one of the few to have averaged more than 40 across his whole career.
“He is a two time premiership player with the Two-Blues and has also served Leopold and Grovedale with great distinction in recent years.”
Kiddle, who retired from playing at the end of last summer, says coaching at Queens Park was “the perfect opportunity”.
“It is a great chance pass on all the knowledge and experience to a new generation of players,” he said. “It would not have felt right to have stopped playing and just walked away from cricket.
“I was fortunate enough to play with and learn from a lot of wonderful cricketers. I think you have a responsibility to give something back to the people, and the game, that has given you so much.
“That was one reason to taking up the job at Newtown. But mostly it’s about the friendships I made during my first time with the club.
“My young family also wanted to be part of the club and I couldn’t think of a better environment for them. I had other opportunities to coach but this was the one I wanted most to work out.”
Kiddle played 86 games for N&CCC, scoring 2560 runs at an average of 39.38.
He also took 68 wickets.
The two First XI premierships came in seasons 1999/2000 and 2000/2001.
“We had two wonderful sides back then,” Kiddle said.
“But best of all, we had a great club atmosphere, and while winning games of cricket will always be important to me, a one club approach, surrounded by good people all celebrating each other’s performances, no matter what grade they are playing, is also something I love being part of.”
N&CCC’S exclusive interview with coach Rod Kiddle
“I had other opportunities to coach but this was the one I wanted most to work out.”
N&CCC: Welcome back Rod.
Rod Kiddle: It’s good to be back.
N&CCC: So I guess the obvious next question, after leaving us a few years back to extend your marvellous GCA career at Grovedale and Leopold, what’s brought you back to Queens Park?
RK: There are a lot of things you think about when you make a decision like this. I like to describe it as the perfect opportunity. It is a great chance pass on all the knowledge and experience to a new generation of players. It would not have felt right to have stopped playing and just walked away from cricket. I was fortunate enough to play with and learn from a lot of wonderful cricketers. I think you have a responsibility to give something back to the people, and the game, that has given you so much. I want to pass on all that I have learned over a long period of playing at the top level. There have been so many experiences, things that have worked, things that haven’t. That’s what experience is all about. Through those experiences, the good and the bad, I have learned how to plan to win personally, and as part
of a team. I know there would have been a huge void if I had just retired and walked away from cricket without doing something that would help the next generations of cricketers to enjoy so many of the things that I have had the privilege of enjoying. That was one reason to taking up the job at Newtown. But mostly it’s about the friendships I made during my first time with the club.
N&CCC: No doubt a huge part of those friendships is the bond formed whenever you win a premiership. As captain-coach, you helped us win two. Tell us about those years.
RK: Well there’s no doubt we had two wonderful sides back then. But best of all, we had a great club atmosphere. We won premierships in other grades too, during my time here, and I always enjoyed the success of those teams. I believe in a one club approach, that everyone from the Milo players, to your juniors, to your hard wicket players and your turf players are part of something special. Newtown is that sort of special club and that’s something that’s attractive not just to me, but to my young family. They also wanted to be part of the club and I couldn’t think of a better environment for them. I had other opportunities to coach but this was the one I wanted most to work out.
N&CCC: So can you give us a bit of an idea of what you see for the club next season?
RK: Well before next season, there’s a pre-season. As I have already indicated, planning and preparation are a big part of the way I have played my cricket, both as an individual and as a leader of a team. I don’t think you can predict too far ahead in any sport. There are always so many factors that you can only guess at ahead of you. All you can do is prepare yourself in the best possible way. That’s why I want to see as many people as possible at pre-season training. If they’re not there, it makes it pretty hard to share all the information I and the rest of the leadership team have to pass on. So the simple message at this stage is get to training, get yourself fit, get yourself mentally set up to play good, hard cricket. If you kept getting out the same way last year, let’s have a talk about it and see what you’re doing wrong, the same thing if you’re a keeper or a bowler. Let’s have a look at you. Over the years, it has always been something I enjoyed, seeing a young person with a bit of talent then helping them to get the temperament and technique right so that they can fully enjoy that talent. And let’s focus on that word enjoy, too. That’s the sort of atmosphere I remember from my first time at Newtown, people enjoying each other’s company, and when they came along, each other’s successes. If you’re one of the people around 10 years ago, it will be great to catch up. If you’ve arrived since I’ve left, let’s get together and start to get to know each other. And I say this to everyone, no matter what level of cricket they are playing at Newtown, if you’ve got a question about your game, please ask the coach. That’s what he’s here for.
N&CCC: Thanks Rod, see you at training.
- Played for VCA clubs Prahran, Geelong/Nth Melbourne & Geelong
- First player to score a century for the Geelong First XI in the VCA – 143.
- A record four time league batting average winner. GCA
- Eight years of VCA cricket, debuting at the age of 17
- Four GCA premierships.
- Scored almost 8500 GCA First XI runs.
- One of three players to have averaged more than 40 runs over entire GCA career.
- 10 years experience as a GCA First XI captain and coach.
- Two decades of experience as batting coach, focussing on technique and temperament.
AT NEWTOWN AND CHILWELL CRICKET CLUB
- Two premierships as captain-coach
- 86 games
- 2560 runs at an average of 39.38.
- Highest Score – 158 NO
- 68 wickets.