The secret Zoom meetings powering the world’s best coaches, including Ange Postecoglou, Eddie Jones and Trent Robinson


Wadewitz curates the groups, which meet fortnightly. After eight sessions, the groups meet every five weeks. In each session, the coaches address the various challenges they face.

“It could be anything from facing a hurdle with a player, a staff member, an incident with the media,” Wadewitz said.

Essentially, it’s safe space for coaches to bounce off each other and compare notes. Oh, to be a fly on the virtual wall.

The groups aren’t restricted to coaches. Robinson was in one of the original groups with former Australian coach Justin Langer but is now part of a group that includes Dr Chris Brown, former Melbourne Symphony Orchestra head conductor Benjamin Northey, Carlton’s Michael Voss and Richard Oppy, the vice-president of one of the world’s largest brewing companies.

“Ben shared in late October about how, when you’re the conductor of an orchestra, you don’t have an instrument to play,” Robinson said. “How do you hold a group of people and make them perform? That helped me as a coach. That’s what I do. To hear it from him in his terms was fascinating.”

The grass is greener

For years, officials across the planet have been searching for ways to reinvigorate Test cricket and now Indian curators have shown the way: prepare a dodgy pitch, watch wickets tumble with growing excitement, have the whole thing wrapped up by tea on day three.

Who needs the Big Bash when you can have the Big Crash? It’s better than endless days of watching batsmen dominate on docile drop-in pitches.

The touring group from Australia Sports Tours standing on the lush field at Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

The touring group from Australia Sports Tours standing on the lush field at Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium.

That said, it’s always nice to see some batting. We can only assume the ICC will apply the same blowtorch to India’s venues as it did the Gabba last summer when they presented a luscious green-top for the first Test against South Africa.

The third Test against India is currently being played at Holkar Stadium, Indore, after it was moved from Dharamsala’s Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association Stadium beneath the Himalayas because, according to the BCCI, “the outfield lacks sufficient grass density and will need some time to develop fully.”

Imagine our surprise when we received an email showing a group from Australia Sports Tours standing on that same outfield, which looked as green as the green, green grass Tom Jones apparently has at his home. The outfield looks so lush you could sleep on it.

According to one groundsman, the wicket would have played “too fast”.

Why bipolar is no joke

In 2008, I interviewed John Singleton for a profile on horse trainer Gai Waterhouse and he talked about the time when her father, TJ Smith, sent her around to his Rose Bay mansion to talk her out of pursuing a TV career.

The timing could not have been worse: Singleton had been arrested and locked up overnight after getting into a fight in Kings Cross, the news of which was splashed over various front pages.

“That was before bipolar was invented, so I had to cop it sweet,” Singleton said.

Elsewhere, Channel Nine commentator Ray Warren often jokes that colleague Phil Gould “isn’t bipolar but tripolar”.

Whenever a rugby league player has revealed his condition, whether it’s Andrew Johns, Greg Inglis or Mitchell Pearce, people invariably roll their eyes and think it’s an excuse for bad behaviour.

Sidelined Roosters star Angus Crichton.

Sidelined Roosters star Angus Crichton.Credit:NRL Photos

They’re doing it again with Roosters back-rower Angus Crichton, whose father revealed in a statement to Channel Nine’s Danny Weidler last week that his son was suffering from the disorder, which causes extreme mood swings.

In severe cases, it can trigger hallucinations and delusions. ABC broadcaster Craig Hamilton regularly – and bravely – shares his story about believing he was Jesus Christ during a psychotic episode on the platform at Broadmeadow station when he was about to travel to Sydney to cover the 2000 Olympics.

The situation involving Crichton is serious and there are concerns he won’t be back this year. Now is not the time for conspiracy theories and tawdry claims on social media.

Moses and the NRL’s promised land

Parramatta were desperate to announce halfback Mitchell Moses’ four-year contract extension before the season opener against Melbourne on Thursday night.

Alas, things are never straightforward when the agent handling negotiations is Isaac Moses, who is Mitchell’s cousin.

A controversial character who has twice been suspended and deregistered, Isaac is the game’s most influential manager. Rugby league: the home of third chances.

He has a penchant for wringing every last cent and clause out of clubs, which is great for his client but tortures football departments. As one chairman once said to me: “I hate dealing with him – but he’s the best closer in the business.”

Because of the large number of players and coaches on his books, Isaac can get into the woodwork of a club without them realising it, much like termites.

The Wests Tigers are desperate for Mitchell to return after he joined the Eels midway through 2017, reportedly tabling a five-year offer worth $1.4 million a year. The Eels deal is said to be about $1.25m a year over four.

Surely, Tigers management is wary of what happened last time when Isaac had the club by the throat because he also represented James Tedesco, Aaron Woods and Luke Brooks, all of whom were coming off contract.


The ongoing saga around Mitchell’s contract – on the eve of the season – is yet another example of why the NRL needs to introduce trade windows.

Head office keep saying the wheels are in motion, but there are no wheels and no motion. The RLPA reckons such windows are a “restraint of trade”, even though every serious sporting code in the world has them.

The quote

“Let’s f—ing go!” — The last words from the normally mild-mannered Australian captain Meg Lanning before the World T20 final against South Africa in Cape Town. Her side did indeed go, beating the home side by 19 runs.

Thumbs up

The Barmy Army paid tribute to Pat Cummins′ seriously ill mother, Maria, with a stirring rendition of Maria from West Side Story during England’s second Test against New Zealand. At the same time, Maurice Newman was sticking it to Cummins in News Corp publications about being too – you guessed it – “woke”. Yawn.

Thumbs down

Major footy codes prattle on about mental health, and respecting women, but apparently those words don’t apply to reporters. What else can you conclude after the AFL didn’t sanction North Melbourne coach Alastair Clarkson, who told a female reporter, “Your time will come”, echoing a term allegedly used by his own player, Tarryn Thomas, while also threatening a female?

It’s a big weekend for …

the Sydney Kings, who are looking to go click-clack, back-to-back with NBL championships. First game of the finals series against the New Zealand Breakers is at Qudos Bank Arena on Friday with game two in Auckland on Sunday.

It’s an even bigger weekend for …

the Wests Tigers, who won’t get a better chance than Sunday at sunny Leichhardt Oval against the Titans to show they really have turned the corner with the return of Tim Sheens and Benji Marshall, and the signing of Api Koroisau and Isaiah Papali’i, and their new centre of excellence that has its own barber shop.


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