Cricket Ireland have announced that Gary Wilson has been given the role of senior men’s interim Assistant Coach on a 3-month secondment starting on 1 December. It’s an appointment that will see the Warriors Head Coach involved in next month’s trip to the USA and the series in the West Indies in January.
The North West Umpires and Scorers held their AGM last week and have elected Vinny O’Hara as their new Chair after Graham McCrea stepped down from the role. Stevie Dunn will be the Ballykelly man’s deputy as the ‘new guard’ take over the reins with work to be done to try to build up the region’s pool of officials.
Speaking after he accepted the role, Vinny paid tribute to both Graham and his predecessor, Roly Black.
“Graham had four years as Chair and did a superb job in very difficult circumstances. There were many issues to contend with both on the field and off but he worked tirelessly on behalf of everyone in the Union. I want to thank him personally for his leadership in that time.”
“Obviously recruitment of new members is one of the biggest issues still facing us but together with the NWCU and the clubs we will work to find a solution. We’ve had a few new members come through the training programme last year and bit by bit we’re clawing it back.”
“There are huge opportunities in umpiring now and you only have to look at the success of Roly Black- the top umpire in Ireland in my opinion- to see what is possible. We are lucky too of course to have brilliant people like Dermott Ward, Alfie Dunn, Davy Caldwell and Charlie McElwee to call on and while they are there, the Association has a very solid base.”
“We need to continue to grow our partnership with the NWCU as a matter of urgency. Obviously there have been issues to sort out and I had a very positive meeting with them this week. There have been problems in the past year or two, there is no denying that, but we’ll work together on resolving them.”
“We can’t pretend either that the disciplinary process hasn’t been a major issue over the past few seasons but the North West have promised a complete overhaul this winter ahead of the 2022 campaign.”
“There will now be an independent Disciplinary Committee who will be working off clear and unequivocal regulations. We have to get to the point where there is real transparency in the whole process so that everyone knows where they stand.”
“I accept that Umpires have a role in that too. Reporting must be consistent, and we are looking at adapting next year’s training course to include a section on Umpires’ input into the disciplinary process.”
“I’m delighted as well that Stevie Dunn has agreed to become vice-Chair. That might come as a surprise to one or two but he’s as passionate about his umpiring as he is his playing and he will bring a real energy to the Association. He has some good ideas and is very keen to progress his own learning which is really important.”
“Stevie is someone I’ll happily ring to sound out any issues with.”
“Again, I understand that recruitment is the biggest challenge we’re facing at the minute, however developing that relationship with the clubs and the North West is another huge factor.”
“All parties need to commit fully however because we can’t just keep talking about it, but I honestly believe the desire is there to make it work.”
To assist clubs ensure the safety of their members whilst undertaking club activities the North West have organised two online Safeguarding Courses. Details of the courses are below:
- Safeguarding children & young people course
- 23rd November
- Designated safeguarding children’s officer course
- 29th & 30th November
- 7-8.30pm both evenings
The fee is £20 per course, payable on registration. To register please fill in the below form.
REMINDER: the safeguarding survey for all clubs is due in on 12th November – Complete survey on this link Cricket Ireland: Club Safeguarding Self-Assessment Framework (formsite.com)
Andy Britton was understandably delighted to receive news this week that the 2022 European Cricket League has been given the green light and will get under way in February in the slightly warmer climes of Spain’s Costa Del Sol.
The last two renewals of the T10 competition fell foul of covid restrictions, however ‘Britz’ was more than happy to join a Zoom call with Elaine Nolan and Peter McCartney in the past few days when the Brigade skipper found out who their group stage opponents would be.
“I didn’t want to get my hopes up because the competition was cancelled in 2020 and again at the start of this year, but this is great news” he said.
“We will be based in Malaga from 14-18 February- playing our five group games there. I know it’s a great spot because I was in Benalmadena for a week in 2019 and that whole area is a fantastic place.”
“I certainly had no bother getting a team when I put a message into the player’s group chat anyway. Every single one of the current squad accepted the invitation straight away and we have a couple of irons in the fire at the minute as well in terms of new players, so there might be an extra face or two, who knows?”
Brigade have been drawn in Group B, alongside Cannacord Griffins from Guernsey, Norwegian side Bjorvika, Royal Tigers of Hungary, Sofia’s Indo Bulgaria and Zagreb Sokol of Croatia.
The Beechgrove skipper won’t be expected too much about any of those of course, but does know the prize for finishing top of their Group.
“I doubt if we’ll know all that much about each other until we get there but it’s the same for everybody. The five group winners will be back in March for a round robin tournament and there is prizemoney at stake then, so we’d love to be involved in that too.”
“As well as the players, we’ve received more than 30 enquiries so far about people wanting to go to support us. It’s a bit unfortunate that the week we’re there is the same as a lot of schools’ mid-term breaks, so flights are a lot more expensive.”
“It is the Costa Del Sol though. It should be some trip.”
The NWCU is deeply saddened to learn of the death on Monday of former Glendermott CC President, Jim Campbell.
Jim was an instantly recognisable figure at the Rectory and gave a lifetime of service to the club in a variety of roles. He was a stylish top-order batsman and played a huge part in Glendermott’s run to a couple of senior cup semi-finals in the 1970’s.
North West Chairman Brian Dougherty paid his tribute earlier on behalf of the local Union.
“The NWCU are saddened to hear of the death of Jim Campbell. He was a well known and respected member of the North West cricketing fraternity.”
“A competitive player with Glendermott, he went on to put as much into the club off the field, as he did on it. As a past President and Chairman of the club, he was always a welcoming figure to the Rectory and will be sadly missed by all of us.”
“Our condolences to all his circle of family and friends.”
The North West Cricket Union are opening the Key Coach program to include more club and school based coaches & volunteers active in cricket. This program is designed to help create a supportive environment for volunteers, parents and students get actively involved in their clubs, schools and community groups to make the game as accessible and enjoyable as possible.
Just over three years ago, the NWCU had no Women involved in the leadership of cricket here apart from the loyal team club captains.