WA's NICC Tilt Boosted By WACA HP Support
4 February 2017  

Western Australia’s Aboriginal XI continues to evolve as a genuine pathway program with WACA Talent Development Coordinator Job van Bunge taking over as men’s coach this season.

Van Bunge will lead the men’s side for the National Indigenous Cricket Championships (NICC) which begin in Alice Springs on Monday.

The appointment is part of the closer ties between the Aboriginal program and the Western Australian Cricket Association’s High Performance unit.

"WA has a passionate history when it comes to the Imparja Cup and NICC and the program here at the WACA has come a long way since it started,” van Bunge said.

"With the program’s change into a more high performance direction I’m committed to be part of that process and utilise my experience and knowledge to contribute where possible.”

WA confirmed its men’s squad earlier this week, with Perth Scorchers rookies Dane Ugle and Michael Bailey among the list. Bailey led WA to back-to-back titles in 2014 and 2015.

"The players have set a very high standard for themselves and I’ve witnessed that at training already,” van Bunge said.

"It’s great to see how close the group is and we have a good mix of experience and youth.

"We’ve some high level Premier Cricket players such as Dane Ugle, Michael Bailey, Bevan Bennell and Craig Jones plus some exciting country players such as Jay Collard and Hugh Sando and we have a lot of ingredients for an exciting recipe.

"We also have some talented youngsters who will gain a lot of experience from these championships. Our base is strong and one thing is for sure, the players are itching to go over and compete with the other states.”

Van Bunge, who previously coached the Western Fury and represented the Netherlands at under-age level, said improvement was key.

"From a cricket perspective, we’re having a lot of conversations about playing freely, focus on the one percenters and play as one throughout the whole tournament,” he said.

"If we achieve this as a team we will be playing competitive cricket over in Alice Springs and the results will look after themselves.

"My goal is to make these players a little bit better each day and provide an environment where they are able to improve each day.

"For both the players and the coaching staff it will be opportunity to learn, play good cricket and make new friends.”

WA men’s squad: Zane Atwell (Gosnells), Michael Bailey (South Perth), Bevan Bennell (Claremont- Nedlands), Jay Collard (Kalgoorlie), Dekan John-Furnace (Wyalkatchem), Craig Jones (Rockingham-Mandurah), Tyler McMiles (Gosnells), Hugh Sando (Pinjarra), Rex Strickland (South Perth), Dylan Tucker (Midland), Dane Ugle (Rockingham-Mandurah), Keren Ugle (Waroona), Khylie Ugle (Beverley)

Coach: Job Van Bunge, Assistant Coach: Michael Johnson, Team Manager: Corey O'Brien