They say good things happen in threes, which means Northland Cricket Association operations manager Stephen Cunis could have one more good omen to come after being named the NZ A bowling coach for a second consecutive year.

Not one to jump the gun, Cunis is revelling in the opportunity to help nurture New Zealand's next batch of young guns. "The thing about working at a level like that ... it's just about finding out what they want to be and who they want to be," Cunis said. "For the month I work with them it's just about trying to give them support, advice and guidance."

Travelling to England with the NZ A side last year, Cunis was given the flexibility to adapt his newfound role - an opportunity which saw him flourish.

"When you're in an A team and you're trying to make the Black Caps, often you forget about the other 10 to 11 guys around you. We pushed it really hard with the England tour for guys to look at the guy beside them and collectively play for each other if they want to win."


Following in his father's footsteps, Cunis's dad, Bob, coached the Black Caps between 1987 and 1990, although he said this is something he doesn't aspire to just yet. Commending the efforts of new Black Caps bowling coach Dimitri Mascarenhas, Cunis said he's happy to wait his turn and take it one step at a time.

Northland Cricket Association general manager Warren Marr said the recall was testament to Cunis' growing aptitude in the sport.

"We're extremely proud of what he's achieved as a high performance coach," Marr said. "He's also got huge skills in administration and communication and the stuff he's done with coaching in schools has been outstanding. He's more than just a high performance coach ... he's our operations manager ..."