April 24, 2003

Harmer joins Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy coaching staff

The Australian Cricket Board (ACB) in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) today announced the appointment of John Harmer to the coaching staff at the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy (CBCA).

Harmer will take up a two-year contract as a senior coach at the CBCA, commencing his role on 1 September 2003. He replaces Troy Cooley, who resigned from the position earlier this month.

Harmer joins head coach Bennett King and fellow senior coaches Wayne Phillips and David Moore at the academy's Adelaide base.

A former coach of the Australian women's cricket team, Harmer has spent the past two years as the national coach of the England women's cricket side.

He travelled to Australian shores this summer for the Women's Ashes Series, helping England to its best performance against Australia in recent times.

During his eight-year term as Australian national women's coach (1993-2001), Harmer guided the Commonwealth Bank Southern Stars to victory in the 1997 World Cup, and to the final in 2000.

He has an extensive background in education as a physical education teacher for 11 years and university lecturer for 25 years. Harmer has also established an international reputation as a specialist in biomechanics and innovative coaching.

Harmer will be responsible for all aspects of the academy program, with a particular focus on fast-bowling analysis and specialist feedback on technique.

ACB Chief Executive Officer James Sutherland said the appointment of Harmer to the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy coaching staff would benefit Australian cricket.

"John has established an outstanding record as a successful coach and educator over many years," said Mr Sutherland.

"We are delighted he is rejoining the ranks of Australian cricket after coaching in England for the past two years.

"The Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy is the finishing school for our talented young elite cricketers, so it is vital to have high calibre coaching personnel to develop these players to their full potential.

"John is a world renowned expert on cricket biomechanics and that, combined with his coaching credentials, will be invaluable and will certainly complement the current coaching staff under the guidance of head coach Bennett King.

"With plans for the Centre of Excellence to be established in the next few years, we have in place a quality coaching group with experience and knowledge to lead us forward."

Director of the AIS Michael Scott said the appointment of Harmer to the academy's coaching staff is an example of the calibre of coaches the AIS and the ACB continually seek to recruit for its programs.

"Head coach Bennett King and the senior coaches at the academy are held in high regard internationally," said Mr Scott.

"John Harmer's appointment will only serve to further cement our reputation as providing the best coaching staff possible for the next generation of Australia's elite cricketers."

An ACB Level Three accredited coach, Harmer's qualifications include a Diploma of Physical Education, a Bachelor of Education (Physical Education) and a Higher Diploma of Teaching.

He has presented lectures on biomechanics, cricket research and teaching skills around the world, including a recent International Cricket Council coaching seminar.

Harmer has worked as a biomechanics consultant in a range of different sports and organisations, including the ACB, the New Zealand Cricket Board, Australian Rugby Union, Victorian Institute of Sport and Australian Rules Football clubs Carlton and Hawthorn.

In 1998, Harmer was a finalist in the Coach of the Year award and received the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for his contribution to cricket.

Harmer played second XI cricket with Victoria and was captain/coach of a number of Melbourne district clubs. He was also a state player in the Victorian Amateur Football Association.

The father of three will complete his contract with the England and Wales Cricket Board before commencing his role at the Commonwealth Bank Cricket Academy on 1 September.

A decision on the location of the Centre of Excellence is expected before the end of the year.