Expert Q&A: Seventh-placed Boydo on how to tackle BBL|10’s even fixture

In just his third season of SuperCoach BBL, Secondary Maths/PE teacher Nigel Boyden stuck to a sound strategy in BBL|09 and it paid off with a seventh place overall finish.

Nigel was actually inside the top 30 for 14 out of the 17 rounds in the top 10 for seven rounds. He started well and was aided by meticulous and careful planning, including Excel spreadsheets.

Nigel’s Boydos Best side had finished in the 2000s in his previous two efforts at SuperCoach BBL but the self-confessed SuperCoach tragic nailed it last season.

Honeyball caught up with Nigel to discuss what strategically he changed and why it worked, along with how he’ll cope with a different fixture list with fewer byes and double game rouns in BBL|10.

HB: Nigel, thanks for joining us, firstly let’s talk about your seventh place finish in BBL SuperCoach last year?

NB: Thank you. I think it is important to make it clear right from the start I didn’t achieve this result by myself, I followed some very clever people on twitter and asked questions, took advice, read Supercoach BBL articles and meet some great people along the way.

HB: Very humble! Let’s talk strategy?

NB: BBL Supercoach has a lot of variables and can be very unpredictable. But there are some things that can be predicted. Firstly, I rely on the fixture. It’s is my biggest planning tool. The 2019/20 fixture structure was very complex with a lot of byes and double game rounds (DGRs). Instead of all these beautifully coloured spreadsheets you might come across on Twitter or Facebook I use a 10c 48pg exercise book. Used to plan my team based on maximising DGR players and navigating through the Byes. I can already imagine Brice Mitchell’s (king of the spreadsheets) response to this already, sorry mate!

My plans were based upon having the best players from each side in my team for their DGRs. Depending on the team it wasn’t always about how many DGR players I selected, instead it was about having the best players. I started by planning every trade from the start of the season up until the international games. I was flexible and made some minor changes along the way due to form, brea evens and change of roles but the majority of it was already planned well in advance.

HB: How do you lay out your original team?

NB: When picking players I kept it pretty simple, other than DGR players I based my selection on the role of the players. All-rounders were high on my radar especially bowling all-rounders. These players on DGR were more times than not my captain for the round as well. I rarely picked batting only players for my team at all especially if they weren’t on a DGR. Those who I did pick had to be on their DGR and batting preferably in the top three.

HB: Some people want cash generation early in the season. Do you worry about cash gen?

NB: I only made the one trade last year based solely on cash generation and that was Rauf. I missed his first price rise and picked him up for his second game. Cash generation is important at the start of the season, however this becomes less important as the competition continues on into finals.

A good example of this was last year, my team maxed in value at just over $2.5 million in Round 9-10 but dropped in value to $2,265,000 in round 16 even though my team was sitting eighth overall at the time.

HB: So what were your big moves in BBL|09?

NB: Other than keeping up with regular, news regarding International availability and national selections the moves that I believed helped me last year was my willingness to keep top line players in each team through their byes. My goal was to have players like Sams, Stoinis, Khan and Curran in my team for as long as possible and to trade DGR and bye players around them. The fixture last season was structured in such a way that teams often had DGR either before or straight after their byes. I kept Mitch Marsh (DGR 6, Bye 7, DGR 9),  Stionis  (DGR 5, Bye 6, DGR 7), Curran (Bye 9, DGR 10) in my side the whole time riding out their bye round and then being able to trade three other DGR players into my side increasing  the strength of my team.

HB: Obviously this season’s fixtures are vastly different. How will your strategy change?

NB: Yep, this year the fixture is a lot different only two byes and international commitments to negotiate around. If Stoinis is bowling this year I still plan on keeping him through his bye in Round 3. I will try and structure my bench options hoping to loop a good early score and keep Stoinis for the two single game rounds following his bye. I also plan to keep some players like D’Arcy Short for the duration of the tournament and trading DGR players around him. Trying to trade in some of the big international players will be another focus of mine this year. With travel restrictions and international duties, I will try and read up and stay up to date with this as much as possible.

HB: Let’s finish with one final piece of advice/wisdom?

NB: I have already bought my 10c exercise book with the plan to repeat my result from last season but I can’t guarantee the strategies I used last year will work again this season. A lot has changed this season. There has been changes in scoring, changes in match rules, emergencies, rolling lock outs, simplified fixture, travel restrictions and no doubt future complication which were not even aware of. So many unknowns but one thing I am sure of is that no matter what is thrown at us, with the Twitter community that I am lucky enough to have joined in the last few years there will be a lot of banter, laughs, weather predictions, cursing and celebrations which will ensure BBL 10 will be heaps of fun.

HB: Awesome, thanks for your time Nigel!

NB: Thank you and good luck everyone and hope that your team can make it up near the top this season because there bloody exciting times.

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