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March 16, 2011
Mickey Arthur has wasted no time clearing the decks after his first season as Western Australia's coach, cutting six players including Aaron Heal and David Bandy from the squad. The Warriors finished fourth in the Sheffield Shield, with three wins this season, and they also ended up fourth in the Ryobi Cup and the Big Bash.
Their Sheffield Shield campaign concluded less than a week ago, but already Heal, Bandy, Michael Swart, Luke Towers, Matt Johnston and Jake Fawcett have been told they won't be given new contracts for 2011-12. The veteran fast bowler Ashley Noffke retired near the start of the season and Brett Dorey bowed out earlier this month, as Arthur looked to the state's youth.
"It is never an easy time to inform players that they are not part of your plans going forward but our results over the past few seasons have been very disappointing and this is part of my long term plan to take us in a new direction," Arthur said. "All of those players have made a valuable contribution to WA cricket over a number of years and I wish them well for the future.
"I am excited by the talent that exists among the remainder of the squad and I will be looking to add some experienced personnel to the list in the coming weeks to compliment the youngsters that will take the new Warriors forward."
Among the younger players who have shown promise under Arthur this season were the fast bowlers Ryan Duffield and Nathan Coulter-Nile, as well as the batsmen Marcus Harris and Tom Beaton. Western Australia have not won any silverware since the 2003-04 season, when they triumphed in the domestic one-day competition.
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