THE Melbourne Stars’ leadership group, which includes Nowra’s Nic Maddinson, spent time at Collingwood during the year in a bid to improve openness and honesty following a horror campaign last summer.
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The Big Bash League club, who share president Eddie McGuire with the Magpies, organised for team leaders including new captain Glenn Maxwell to attend some Pies' player meetings. T
hey were guided by Collingwood premiership captain Nick Maxwell, who is now the Magpies' leadership and culture manager.
“We got to see how they get the best out of their team,” Glenn Maxwell said.
“They have a set of meetings and certain discussion points that their leadership group goes through.
“The way that Nick Maxwell runs that is outstanding.
“It’s something we’re trying to work on as a group.
“We’ve got a few really talented, strong leaders in the group.
“I’ll be resting on them throughout the tournament.
“Just to make sure everyone will be on the same page throughout the tournament, and everyone has a little bit of input here and there.
“Ultimately it will be my decision, but to have a strong leadership group is really key in a tournament that can be unpredictable with selections and injuries.”
Having made the finals in each of the first six BBL seasons, the Stars plummeted last summer, winning just two of 10 games to finish bottom of the ladder.
They will be hoping to mirror the Pies’ reversal of fortunes in 2018, when Collingwood bounced back to make the grand final after a disappointing 2017.
Glenn Maxwell said there was plenty to be drawn from the experience with the Magpies, suggesting that cricketers weren’t necessarily great at taking feedback.
“It was very open and very honest, and something we can probably learn from in cricket,” he said.
“As cricketers we probably make a lot of mistakes. It’s obviously a far different game to footy but we can be very quick to push away the blame and push it aside.
“To take that ownership and honesty and be honest in front of teammates is sometimes difficult for players to do, but something that I think can be quite beneficial for the group, to be able to open up, show your vulnerabilities.
“It allows the younger players to do the same thing – hopefully it breaks down some barriers.”
Marcus Stoinis, Ben Dunk, Maddinson and Daniel Worrall are also members of the Stars leadership group.
Having been unable to force his way back into the Australian Test team, Maxwell is expected to be available to play with the Stars for most of a monster two-month season, likely to leave the Stars' camp only for a brief one-day international window in January.
The Stars have included replacement players Nick Larkin and Lance Morris in their 13-man squad for Friday night's clash with Sydney Thunder in Canberra.
NSW batsman Larkin and young West Australian quick Morris have been signed as replacements for Maddinson (arm) and Worrall (back) who are both expected to be unavailable for around half the tournament.
Nepalese spin sensation Sandeep Lamichhane, West Indian all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Victorian opener Travis Dean are also in line to make their debuts for the club after being named in the group that headed to the nation's capital on Thursday.
The Thunder have included gun English pair Jos Buttler and Joe Root as well as highly rated young batsman Jason Sangha in their squad.
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