Hussey is the third coach to lead the Stars, following Greg Shipperd and Stephen Fleming who came before him and is excited for the season ahead.
The Stars have played finals every year, excluding BBL|07, but has yet to win the competition - so the anticipation to take that next step is not lost on Hussey.
“We’ve been very consistent, we’ve made the finals most years, last year was a little bit of a setback (losing the Big Final) but I truly believe the squad that we have on board, the list manager Trent Woodhill has done an amazing job. Hopefully, we can provide some entertaining cricket at the MCG throughout the year”, he told SEN on Melbourne Stars membership day.
When building the list for Hussey’s first year at the helm, the priorities were clear.
He explained: “A fast bowler, overseas fast bowler which we were fortunate enough to gain Dale Steyn for the first six games, which we’re wrapped about. Not only is he a good person but he’s a quality cricketer and one that I’m very excited to see run in and bowl fast down at Moe - especially in front of some Latrobe Valley fans, but also at the MCG as well.
“(Steyn is a) quality person, always one to give a lot of knowledge, education and I’m sure he’ll fit in the dressing room very very well at the Melbourne Stars.”
Hussey understands to have a good list requires top-end talent, but also significant depth. As shown in previous years the Stars have lost International players at various crucial stages of the tournament and Hussey will look to ensure that when the opportunity presents itself for high honours for their players, the squad is ready to cover the losses.
Hussey continues: “It’s probably been the Achilles heel of the Stars for many years, we’ve been decimated by international selection and it’s all about my role now to get depth squad players upskilled and educated enough to how the Stars play their cricket at the MCG, and how we play away and make sure they feel comfortable enough to play their own way and be their own person and provide their skills on the big stage, handle the pressure and enjoy their time out there.”
Hussey will continue to build on the distinguished culture and reputation that has been the reason the Melbourne Stars are where they are today.
“We probably need a bit of a seamless change and keep the dressing room as it is and allow people to be themselves. They don’t have to be anybody different, their personality doesn’t have to change playing for the Melbourne Stars, and I think my role as the coach is to get the best out of each individual,” Hussey said.
The cross-town rivalry is building year on year and following the heartbreak result in last season’s final and the announcement in recent days of Stars batting coach Michael Klinger to be the head coach of the Renegades, it’s intensified further.
Hussey made it clear that the “Stars definitely owe the Renegades one”.
The Stars launch their campaign of redemption at Metricon Stadium on December 20 when they face the Brisbane Heat.