Rob Cassell Looking Forward to Touring With Ireland Wolves
Ten years on from a previous visit to Ireland on retirement from playing, Rob Cassell returns to these shores with his wife and 10-month old son. Keen to live and work in this part of the world they had been discussing how and when it might what happen when Rob saw the Cricket Ireland role advertised.
“I knew of the potential growth of cricket in Ireland, so when I saw the role advertised, I was immediately interested. It was an absolute bonus that Test status was granted a few weeks after I was appointed,” Rob says.
All the touristy things were taken care of a decade ago and Cassell is more in favour of a “quiet life” now.
“We’ve only been here for two weeks and are loving it,” he says, “the Cricket Ireland staff and players have been so friendly and welcoming as have strangers walking along the coast in Malahide. The weather is not even that cold I even got sunburnt the other day!”
Whatever of the scorching temperatures in Malahide, the named storms around Belfast prevented any action against the West Indies in what would have been Cassell’s first game involved with Ireland. Instead, he’ll have to wait for the upcoming Wolves tour to Bangladesh to really get to work.
“It was a pity about the washout but I got to see a few of them warm up and bowl the day before. There is a lot to like with a good blend of experience and youth amongst the senior team. It was an enjoyable few days getting to meet all the players and staff.
“But I’m really keen to see the players perform in Bangladesh and get stuck into my role here. They will be physically and mentally challenging conditions for the players against some quality opposition so there is no better way to see how the players can adapt and cope with all that.
There is something about being on the road that helps a team bond so there’ll be plenty time to get to know all the players and staff,” Cassell continued.
The Irish bowling unit can expect to work hard in Bangladesh but Cassell isn’t expecting to walk in and crack the whip. “In my short time here I’ve already noticed there is some genuine desire and passion from the playing group to work hard and continually improve so there is no need to crack the whip just yet! I’d prefer to see the bowlers in matches before making too many suggestions or adjustments.”
Cassell will instead continue his successful coaching style of helping players find a method that works for him/her and not settling for merely being a good bowler. He is still searching for ways to do things better than the opposition – be it tactical or the way he trains.
“The best coaches I’ve seen in any sport have a never-ending search for improvement and constant reflection and refinement on ‘how can we do things better?’”, Cassell believes.
Cassell also described how he incorporates modern technology into his sessions. “When I’m working with the players I do use a few video and analysis apps and radar guns so I do think they can speed up a players learning and development if used well. Some players love seeing vision while others want to be told straight up so it’s about knowing how best to relay the information with each player.”
There are batch of talented fast bowlers who will soon come under Rob Cassell’s eye, some of whom guided the Under 19s to qualification for the ICC World Cup in New Zealand.
“I did hear about some of those names and have now seen some footage and gained some info from the Cricket Ireland underage coaches. I’m excited to see how they develop over the next few years,” Cassell says.
Indeed, Cassell is aware of the big few months coming up with the “Intercontinental Cup match and some World Cup qualifiers on the horizon and also the U19 World Cup so there’s plenty to keep me busy.”
There’s no doubting that Rob Cassell is well prepared for his role as Fast Bowling Lead with Cricket Ireland.
“I had spoken to a few other coaches who had either played or coached in Ireland and they all spoke highly of the place and people. I knew it was a obviously a constant battle with the climate and getting access to turf and indoor facilities but there are some exciting plans in place that should see a big improvement in facilities and resources within the next few months.
“I think the training facility in La Manga, Spain will be ideal for some Fast Bowling Camps with guaranteed sunshine and turf practice opportunities until the facilities are completed in Dublin.
“I had heard about the new First Class system which is a vital step and is key to us being successful as a Test nation. It will take some time to climb up the ICC rankings but hopefully this system will create some fierce competition for spots in the senior team and help fast track our youth,” he concluded.
Rob Cassell is involved in camp this week with the Ireland Wolves as they prepare for their 6-match tour to Bangladesh. His enthusiasm for developing and coaching the finest fast bowling talents in Ireland is infectious and beyond the current senior and senior academy squads, the Under 19 and 17 quicks should be mightily excited for the future.