Former West End Redback Luke Williams has been appointed Head Coach of the Statewide Super SA Scorpions and the Adelaide Strikers in the Rebel WBBL following Andrea McCauley’s resignation after five years in the role.
Williams brings a familiar face to the top job, having spent the past two seasons in an assistant coaching role with Strikers and more recently with the Scorpions.
“I’m super excited,” Williams said. “Really proud and honoured to have been provided this opportunity. I’ve loved my involvement with the Scorpions and Strikers, so really excited for what the future might hold.”
The Strikers struggled with consistency during the WBBL this season, winning just six matches and finishing in seventh place.
However, there were glimmers of hope among the electric blue and Williams will be aiming to build consistency in the side after a few standout performances.
“At our best last year, we were hard to beat,” said Williams. “We beat the team that won it, the Brisbane Heat, convincingly early in the season.
“Our best cricket is definitely good enough, we just need to be able to recreate that on a more consistent basis.”
Williams also shed light on the status of Strikers superstar Suzie Bates, the Kiwi star whose two-year contract is due to expire before the commencement of WBBL05.
“We’re really hopeful that Suzie will be back with us this year (and) every indication is that will occur,” he said. “Suzie is a fantastic cricketer, fantastic person and fantastic captain.”
Bates – the former New Zealand skipper - was an integral part of the Strikers line up in WBBL04, her 421 runs for the season seeing her finish as the tournament’s sixth-highest run scorer.
The South Australians endured a similarly rocky season in the 50-over format; the SA Scorpions, spearheaded by Megan Schutt, finished the Women’s National Cricket League (WNCL) season at the bottom of the table with just two wins under their belt.
Again, Williams is adamant that despite less than favourable results, there were plenty of positives to build upon in the season ahead.
“I think it’s a really exciting time for the Scorpions.,” he said. “Tahlia McGrath scored her first century and Bridget Patterson her second. Ellie Falconer, Eliza Doddgridge and Annie O’Neil all debuted at WNCL level, as well as some contributions from senior players at different times.
“I think we’ve got a good blend of experience and youth and certainly some real optimism with what we can achieve next year.”
“It will be great to work with ‘Schutter’ again next year in a coach/captain capacity.
“She did a great job in her first year as captain and certainly looking forward to her continuing to lead by example and provide direction to the group and the sport staff.”
Williams has shifted into coaching following a playing career in both first-class and Premier Cricket, including the second-most runs for the Adelaide Cricket Club with 6984, with a highest score of 253 not out.