BCiB Jackaroos lure English world champ to Tactical Coach role

by Aidan Davis

The BCiB Australian Jackaroos will benefit from local knowledge at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, following the appointment of English and Scottish spearhead Andy Thomson MBE as Tactical Coach.

Thomson, one of the Northern Hemisphere’s most prodigious international players, has relinquished his position as English Selector to take up the post with Bowls Australia’s high-performance team, in a newly created role that will help shape the nation’s success abroad.

Steeped in success, Thomson, who retired from English indoor international duties last month following 38 years of service, has claimed six World Bowls Tour world indoor titles, and was part of England’s men’s fours victory at the 1996 World Bowls Championships.

While Thomson will commence immediately in the advisory role, his actual commitments are concentrated around times when the BCiB Jackaroos are training or competing in the United Kingdom.

National Coach Steve Glasson said that Thomson was the obvious candidate for the position, which has been developed to play an instrumental role in the Jackaroos on-green performances at the next Commonwealth Games.

“History underlines the fact that Australia’s success in the UK does not mirror that of performances in the Southern Hemisphere, and this is an exciting challenge and opportunity we face,” Glasson said.

“In order to improve our performance, particularly our tactical prowess and style of play in the UK, we have sought the involvement of an iconic, respected, experienced and proven campaigner in both competition and coaching.

“Andy was the obvious pick and we are delighted to secure his services to assist us in meeting our potential and achieving our goals.”

Thomson was appreciative of the opportunity to help guide Australia’s success abroad and said he was eager to get stuck into the challenge.

“I am delighted to accept the position with Bowls Australia and very excited to be part of the coaching team,” Thomson said.

“I have known National Coach Steve Glasson for many years and it will be a privilege to work with him.

“I have always admired the professionalism and dedication of all the Australian Squads that I have seen in the past, and I am looking forward to working with many of the best players in the world.

“I know the team are aware of the challenges they will face during the next few years and I look forward to being part of a successful team.”

Thomson joins the man at the helm, National Coach Steve Glasson, and National Assistant Coach Gary Willis as the architects charged with the future success of Australian Jackaroos.

While Thomson’s appointment is evident of the preparations the trio, alongside the High-Performance staff and National Selectors, are taking ahead of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, immediate focus is undoubtedly directed to ensuring success at the Gold Coast 2020 World Bowls Championships.