Lake Albert’s premiership-winning captain Rob Nicoll has returned to Wagga City for a new challenge.
Nicoll replaces older brother Jon Nicoll as Wagga City coach for the 2018-19 season.
The 29-year-old spent the past three seasons with Lake Albert, including captaining their 2015-16 premiership side.
He stepped away from cricket last season after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, but is looking forward to being back involved in the cricket.
“I spoke to Jono and told him of my interest in going into coaching – as my playing days are done now,” Nicoll said.
“My vision is not good enough to play, but I felt like I wanted to give something back to cricket.
“There was a couple of coaching jobs going in Wagga, and I told him I was going to apply for the Cats one and he thought it was a good idea.”
Craig Footman vacated the Bulls coaching role after winning two titles in three years, however Nicoll didn’t want to stay with Lake Albert.
He thought it would be the easier option considering their recent success, but wanted the challenge at the Cats to get out of his comfort zone.
“There is a lot of young players there now who I haven’t worked with before or seen play before and I thought it was a better opportunity and a better challenge,” Nicoll said.
He’s looking to bring a very different style to the role.
Nicoll doesn’t want to focus too much the technical side.
“I’m not very technical based in my coaching, but more on the mental side of the game and the preparation needed to play the game,” he said.
“I want to help build that culture around young player development and giving them the skills to be successful at it.”
Thompson has retained Wagga City’s captaincy.
He expects the Cats will have a similar line up this season, however he believes some of their young guns to have a bigger role.
“We’ve basically got the same team, but we are probably going to have a more permanent role for a couple of younger guys who basically had a pinch hit last year,” Thompson said.
“Robbie has some good ideas for the young kids and how they play a part in our cricket team.
“We’re all looking forward to the year and are just starting to put some pieces together now to get ready for the season.”
Sam McCready is one who is expected to have a more senior role.
He’s set to take the wicketkeeper’s gloves and be elevated in the batting order.