Expert Q&A: SuperCoach BBL winner Thommo Aitken’s big regret in BBL|09

Brisbane-based 27-year-old teacher Thommo Aitken is a humble bloke but when you win both SuperCoach BBL and NBL Fantasy in the space of a few months, you clearly know a thing or two.

Thommo says: “I think lightning struck twice and it might not happen again, but it’s quite handy!”

But also his story is an example for others, not to despair when everything doesn’t go perfectly for your side.

In Round 8 last season, Thommo didn’t have Marcus Stoinis when he produced a record BBL score of 147 off 79 balls, translating to a whopping 244 BBL SC points.

It’s a lot of points to miss out on, but despite that Thommo still went all the way and won the $25,000 grand prize as SuperCoach BBL|09 champion.

Honeyball spoke to Thommo for our 2020-21 SuperCoach BBL magazine, which is out now for $5.95 via this link, and here’s a snippet of the chat.

HB: We’ve got to ask first up, how’d you spend the $25,000?!

Thommo: What was the prize?! I can’t remember! But I got it when COVID-19 hit so I’ve not spent any of it. Literally as soon as I got it, the world shut down. Sorry that’s boring!

HB: All good, let’s talk about how you got the money?

Thommo: Sure. I like to have just a strong squad. Some people discard their bench but like to have a strong squad that I can move around and be a bit flexible.

A few moves I can remember, there was a rain affected week where the Sixers had a double. Instead of bringing in Sixers players, I moved all my Sixers players out or didn’t trade any in. They had one game against Hobart that was abandoned and the other one they got beaten pretty comprehensively, so in a week when lots of people would’ve brought in Sixers, I thought I’d do the opposite and that paid dividends.

Towards the end I had some good captain scores. I had Wade who went big in a double game round and I had Aaron Finch who had a couple of handy knocks including one against the Sixers. I was up there in the rankings but I don’t think I was in the top 10 or 20 per se. Having Wade and Finch gave me a bit of a shot in the arm for the last few weeks. My last round score was rubbish but I managed to hold on.

HB: You traded in both Wade and Finch after Australia duty?

Thommo: Wade was going OK from memory, not fantastically well, but an opening bat on a double is always a chance to score a few points. The same with Finch. He came back from national duty but again as an opening batsman on a double, you’re always a chance to score.

HB: There’s lots of fluctuations in BBL scores. Did you trade out anyone at the wrong time?

Thommo: When Stoinis went mad and scored 147 not out (244 BBL SC points), I didn’t have him in my team. I had Chris Lynn in my team at certain stages when he was no good and then he’d go big and I didn’t have him. There’s certain players that I didn’t have when they got monster scores.

HB: That’s amazing that you still won SuperCoach BBL!?

Thommo: Absolutely. You’ve just got to enough things right. You can’t get everything right with all the factors involved. You need a bit of luck too.

To read the full interview with Thommo, get your copy of the Honeyball digital magazine now for $5.95 via this link today.

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