Former Cricket Australia high performance manager Matthew Drain will coach Mt Clear for the 2012-13 season.
Drain has a highly decorated cricket and sports administration background, particularly in AFL as St Kilda general manager (2007-10), high performance manager at Western Bulldogs (2004-07) and Essendon football manager (1997-2002).
The former Essendon and Carlton premier cricketer takes over the reigns at the Mounties from Paull Jeffrey, who has coached the club the past 15 seasons.
Drain told The Courier he moved to Ballarat in a “tree-change” for work and his son’s schooling.
While he entertained taking up another role in Victorian Premier Cricket, Drain said he wanted to get more involved in his new home town.
“Once you make the lifestyle change it’s important to go the whole way and, given I was keen to coach, I wanted to get involved in local cricket,” Drain said.
“Paull has been a long-term coach and the club has achieved some good things for a long period of time so hopefully I can further enhance it.
“We want Mt Clear to be a club of choice for new, young and current players.
“Hopefully my experience will encourage players to come and stay at Mt Clear.”
Drain has played more than 150 Victorian Premier Cricket firsts matches with Essendon and Carlton, chalking up 10 centuries and 25 half-centuries.
He was captain-coach with Essendon from 1994-96, captained Carlton from 2000-02 where he was non-playing coach from 2003-05 and batting coach from 2009-11.
Drain was in the Victorian state squad in the 1994-95 season and has played club cricket for Sydney University.
A move to Ballarat in January has allowed Drain to work part-time at Ballarat Grammar while completing a law degree.
He sounded out a few club options in the Ballarat Cricket Association and felt Mt Clear fit best.
Jeffrey said it was a massive coup for the club and region.
“To have someone with Matt’s credentials is as good as we’ve ever had come to town,” Jeffrey said.
“I’m looking forward to having a fresh voice about the club.”
Jeffrey made the decision to scale back his senior cricket duties at Mt Clear due to work and family commitments.
He hoped to continue playing and work with the club’s juniors alongside Drain and Garry Snowden in a highly qualified coaching outfit.
Mt Clear was the place to be, Jeffrey said, for any new cricketers in town looking for a game.
Drain is a chance to line up for the Mounties next summer but he said he would prefer to take stock of his playing squad first, including recruits and promising juniors.
The Mounties have actively started recruiting.
Training starts on August 5 with a club introduction on July 20.