The Gold Coast SUNS have enlisted the help of a national-level coach to drive the club’s high performance program in 2020.
After over a decade working in the cricket industry, new SUNS Senior Athletic Performance and Rehab Coach David Bailey will be looking to use his diverse skillset in a new environment.
“My background before this was in cricket so I’ve spent the last 10-15 years working at Cricket Victoria in the women’s and men’s space,” Bailey told SUNS Media.
“(I) then (spent time in) the Australian setup with the Australian men’s team, Australia A and the Academy and then also with the Australian women’s team as well.”
Originally from Victoria and growing up around cricket and AFL simultaneously, Bailey said there were actually more similarities between the two sports than what appears on the surface.
“The switch in sports has been really interesting,” Bailey said.
“The big thing probably even in the cricket space was most of the guys had played some AFL in their junior years.
“It’s not too foreign, certainly there are some differences around what they’re required to do on the field; the running conditioning and the off-legs conditioning.
“But from a strength perspective, the programming is really quite similar between the two sports.”
The biggest difference for Bailey has been the sheer scale in the number of athletes he now oversees.
“In cricket you might have a squad of 18-25 and particularly when you’re touring it might be 15 players.
“The squad here was over 50 players so certainly running a warm-up was a little bit different.
“There were a lot of names to remember so I think that made it a little bit trickier, but the personalities have been fantastic.”
Bailey joined the SUNS program in November last year and said the best part of the role was educating the players on best practice in high performance.
“Players have been really welcoming and they’re keen to learn,” Bailey said.
“From an education perspective I’ve found I’ve come in and there’s been no ego and they’ve really taken on where my advice has come from.
“I’ve had a group in my area that have been senior players who have been at the club for a long time.
“Sometimes those players are a little bit resistant to change but I’ve found them to be really welcoming and really great to train.”