Bowls: One last task for Blackjacks coach Dave Edwards

By Dale Budge

Photo / Supplied
Photo / Supplied

You would have to look extremely hard to find a coach in New Zealand that has been at the helm of a national side longer than Dave Edwards has with the Blackjacks bowls team.

Edwards announced this week that the World Bowls Championships in Christchurch in November and December will be his swansong before he moves to Brisbane to join the Pine River Bowls Club in a coaching role.

New Zealand's leading female bowler Jo Edwards is his wife and the pair will both take up a new role in Australia although Jo will continue to be available for New Zealand selection.

"We did agonise over it," Edwards tells herald.co.nz. "What drove that is the passion for the Blackjacks and how much I do enjoy the role as national coach.

"There were a number of factors that went into the decision but once we did made the call we were really positive and happy and are sure that it was the right one.

"It was very much a collective decision between Jo and I. We discussed every angle of it. It was a mutual decision for sure."

Having been in charge of the national side for a decade, including merging the men's and women's teams together, Edwards felt that the World Champs would be his final tournament regardless of the Brisbane opportunity.

"This is the 10th year I have been in the job and I think that is the upper limit I think for one person to maintain that role. Even though I was still really keen and passionate about the job I think from a player's perspective a new voice with some fresh ideas is not a bad thing for the environment at Bowls New Zealand.

"That did play a part in our decision as well.

"I had been mulling over and had some brief conversations with Kerry Clark about whether it was time for me to move on and then this opportunity came up and it all worked out very well."

Edwards will make the move to Brisbane in mid-January and he says the opportunity to do something different is appealing.

"It is an exciting role at the Pine River Bowling Club. The emphasis is on coaching. They really want me to not only do one on one coaching of members but also to coach their top premier league teams.

"That is the main part of the job but they are also keen to establish an academy for secondary school age kids and I am keen to do that."

A chance to go out with a bang on his home greens at bowls' pinnacle event is something Edwards admits he's thinking about.

"I was already hugely motivated but this will probably give me another one or two percent. Quite often the difference between winning and losing at this level is one or two percent so this has given me that little bit more hunger.

"We won the Leonard Trophy, which is the men's most consistent team at the 2008 World Bowls Championships. I would love to repeat that feat and also get the women's one, which is the Taylor Trophy.

"That would be the ultimate for me."

- NZ Herald

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