Applications for ten-week paid internships as part of the ACA Internship Program in 2022/2023 close on March 30.
2021 was a stressful year for Brad Davis.
In the second year of the pandemic, the South Australian top-order batter found himself without a contract, one of five players dropped by the Redbacks after a winless season led to a fourth consecutive wooden spoon in the Sheffield Shield.
Nearing 30 years of age, Davis had picked up a contract with SACA for the 2020/2021 season after several years playing grade cricket for Sturt Cricket Club and the Emerging Redbacks, but after just five First Class matches it appeared his professional career had stalled.
“It was a stressful time,” said Davis. “Especially for me, I was probably a bit unique getting a contract later on in my late 20s and then only being on a contract for one year.
“I had just kind of put my working life on hold and was trying to progress with cricket but it didn't work out, so then you sort of go back to the work but then you feel like you’ve got to start again.”
While the 32-year-old was contemplating his future he became aware of the ACA’s Internship Program, run in partnership with Cricket Australia and the State Association, which aims to keep ACA members in the game beyond their playing days.
program funds paid sport administration internships for ACA members looking to
develop their careers outside the game and Davis, who had put on hold his
part-time work as Operations Manager with Adelaide University Football Club to
play for the Redbacks, applied for a
“The area that I went into was Team Operations at Cricket Australia,” said Davis. “The main thing I was involved in was getting this new player appearance app up and running throughout all the state associations and Cricket Australia for players and staff.
“It's an app called Glass, which allows you to track all the player appearances in the media and going to schools running clinics and things like that.
“It allows you to track it all on spreadsheets so this way it's centralised online and it's much easier to track and pull out reports.
“So that was the main thing I was working on and I was also helping out with various administration tasks to do with the Australian men's and women's team as well, when required.
“It’s been awesome. I love cricket, it's probably been the biggest part of my life. So to still be involved and able to do work in it has been great and the ACA helped me out as well with a grant around coaching and playing for Sturt, so the ACA has been very helpful to me since coming off my contract.
“That internship certainly gave me a bit of a head start to get back into the industry really quickly.”
While the internship was of great personal benefit to Davis, he also believes combining the experience of players with an understanding of operations and management can help the game overall.
“I guess it's a bonus for me having that real cricketing knowledge, playing knowledge, and being able to gain a lot playing at various levels,” Davis said. “I think you want to retain those sort of people as much as you can in the game.
“Doing this internship and then getting work from that, certainly I've learned heaps from a business point of view and operational point of view. I really didn't know a whole lot before this. So just to see how it's all done from the other side has been great.
“If you can keep as many players involved in the game after they stop playing it will only be good for the game.”
Davis is also keen to highlight the importance of having the backing of a supportive club in helping players develop the all-round skills that can be applied to life outside of cricket.
“The ACA has been great and also my club that I've been involved in, Sturt Cricket Club, has played a big part in helping me develop as well as a leader and given me opportunities. So I think that side of it can't be underestimated too much in terms of developing me as person as well.”
The ACA is offering five ten-week paid internships with a State Association or Cricket Australia in 2022/2023 and is available for all members to apply.
Applications close on March 30 and members can find out further information available at the following website: https://auscricket.com.au/2022-internship-opportunities.
With invaluable experience and newly-developed skills under his belt, Davis no longer feels as though he’s starting from scratch, and is now setting his sights on furthering his sports management career.
“If you were talking about a dream job type of thing, I'd love to be like a General Manager of High Performance,” said Davis. “Ideally in cricket, but in any sport. I'd love to get to that point and sort of look at the strategic side of things and have a big say in that.
“Yeah, that's probably where I'd love to get to at some stage.”