Excited Sternes gets his chance

THEY say a week is a long time in politics.

Well, leaving aside the small matter of an election last Saturday, I can say with confidence that a week is just as long, or sometimes longer, in professional sport.

The Queensland Bulls will tomorrow resume our Sheffield Shield campaign against Victoria at the Gabba with a fair few new faces, not to mention a new coach following the resignation of Stuart Law last week.

With one door closing, another is opening for long-time assistant coach Justin Sternes, who has been appointed interim coach for the rest of the summer.

Despite his fresh face, the bloke who started with Queensland Cricket as a student intern during his human-movements degree at university has been a behind-the-scenes stalwart.

I'm excited to see him get his chance.

Previously, his lack of first-class playing experience may have been the determining factor to him winning the top job, but he has the chance now.

The country boy from Tara in western Queensland has a very 'country' approach to his coaching.

He respects people, knows there is no substitute for hard work, is very laid back and has great people skills. All of which make him fantastic at managing the various situations that arise in the cricket environment.

He may not have played the game at the top level, but he has worked under coaches that have close to 1500 first-class games between them, and that experience has been passed on.

He has great strengths in planning organisation.

I think his passion for the team and his ability to learn and ask questions will hold him in good stead.

The players are excited about Justin's appointment and look forward to putting last week's events behind us by preparing well and winning our last five Shield games. I'm missing the game with a knee injury and so my misfortune is another's gain, this time with Michael Philipson joining Charlie Hemphrey as debutants for the Bulls.

Injury talk is everywhere at the moment with the World Cup just around the corner and Australia has been dealt an injury blow in James Faulkner.

It looked bad at the time, but I am hearing it is a minor side strain which should allow him to take part in the tournament.

I think his bowling in those important middle overs, plus his ability to finish an innings make him an extremely crucial part of the Australian side. Let's hope he can get back soon.

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