Cowan likes his NTC squads chances at AO
VIC and TAS NTC Coach Mark Cowan has shot a warning to his squad about the importance of a strong performance at the Australian Open Victorian and Tasmanian NTC Coach Mark Cowan will have his eyes firmly on his chargers at this year’s Australian Open with roughly 15 of his elite squad members all competing in the $250,000 pinnacle event on the Gold Coast.
Victorian’s were in the winner’s circle last year with Carla Krizanic (nee Odgers) claiming the $20,000 women’s fours in a composite side and Fitzroy Victoria’s Tiffany Brodie winning the Hearing Impaired Singles title.
Cowan was also extremely impressed with his younger squad members who made their presence known in the open disciplines; 17 year old Jayden Christie who made the last 16 in the men’s singles, Tiffany Brodie, at just 15 years of age, reaching the quarter-final in the women’s singles and 17 year old Joshua Corless, skipping his side to victories against England’s Stuart Airey and Scotland’s Alex Marshall on the way to the final eight of the men’s fours.
There is no doubting that the Australian Open has been an event that unearths stars, with the likes of coveted singles champions Aaron Wilson, Ellen Ryan and Aaron Teys all earning selection in the Australian Jackaroos Squad after their victories in the world’s richest bowls event.
Cowan says his Victorian and Tasmanian NTC Squad members all understand the importance of good performances at the Australian Open.
“There are limited occasions for up and coming bowlers to showcase their talent in front of Australian Selectors and with the Australian Open being the most prestigious tournament in Australia, all of my squad members know this is a chance to put their best foot forward,” said Cowan.
“The Australian Open is an opportunity to beat some of the more fancied bowlers and apply pressure to those players already in the Australian Squad.”
Victorian and Tasmanian bowlers enjoyed plenty of success when the Australian Open was based in Victoria and etched their names onto the honour roll on numerous occasions; however whilst they have lost a home ground advantage, the southern states elite bowlers have gained the opportunity to compete on the very greens that will play host to the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Cowan hopes to be present at the Australian Open to watch how his athletes perform in match conditions and in particular the pressure situations they will come across in a quality field.
Cowan believes the Australian Open’s relocation to the Gold Coast was a fantastic move.
“I think the consistency in the greens across all the Gold Coast host clubs gave everyone a chance to perform at their best,” said Cowan.
“The increase in participation numbers was just so fantastic to see.”
Sectional play in all disciplines will give visitors the chance to settle into the event and get as many games as possible in the main draw; maximum time spent on Gold Coast greens is an important factor with the Commonwealth Games fast approaching.
It is now less than two years until the Opening Ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, an event that all NTC Squad members around the country are working towards with their respective NTC Coaches.
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