Monday, September 26, 2022

NZC: Sawyer lands WHITE FERNS head coach role

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Australian Ben Sawyer has been appointed WHITE FERNS head coach on a two-year contract.  

Sawyer joins the WHITE FERNS having most recently worked as the Australian women’s fast bowling coach since 2018 under head coach Matthew Mott.

He is also the head coach of the Birmingham Phoenix in the Hundred, and has previously been head coach of the Sydney Sixers WBBL team.

The forty-two-year-old father of two joins the WHITE FERNS in a training camp at Bay Oval today ahead of his first two assignments: the Birmingham Commonwealth Games campaign, and the subsequent tour to the West Indies.

Sawyer said he was excited to join the WHITE FERNS and was looking forward to making a meaningful contribution.

“I can’t wait to get stuck in,” Sawyer said.

“I see a lot of potential in this WHITE FERNS group and I feel really optimistic about helping to untap that potential, so they can take their cricket to the next level.”

“It’s certainly going to be a learning process as I get to know the players and they get to know me, and my cricket philosophies and coaching style.”

Sawyer said his underlying remit was to work within the New Zealand Cricket high performance system and help the team focus on the right processes, individually and collectively, in order to achieve sustainable success.

“If you get the players making a priority of the processes and concentrating on the preparation and routines that improve and develop performance, then the outcomes tend to look after themselves.

“That’s where consistency of performance comes from, and that’s what we’re seeking.”

WHITE FERNS captain Sophie Devine said Sawyer would represent something of a reset for the group, bringing new ideas, strategies and philosophies into the mix.

“We’re really looking forward to working with Ben and receiving the benefit of his experience,” she said.

“He’s been a key figure in the ongoing success of the Australian women’s team and we hope we can tap into that bank of experience and grow together as a team.

“The upcoming Commonwealth Games campaign in Birmingham and the tour to West Indies will be really helpful in that regard – there’s nothing like away tours for bringing a group together and sharing a common purpose.”

NZC’s GM High Performance, Bryan Stronach, said Sawyer had navigated two rounds of interviews impressively, receiving the nod from a panel that included himself, NZC chief executive David White, NZC Board member and former WHITE FERN, Rebecca Rolls, and a member of the current WHITE FERNS playing group.

“We were very pleased with the calibre of the shortlisted candidates, and encouraged by the interest the position attracted,” said Stronach.

“Ben has good credentials, a lot of experience; is well respected by his peers – and he’s very process-driven, which is important to us in terms of developing and realising the potential in our players.

“His appointment was unanimous within the panel and received strong support from the players.”

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