Saturday, October 16, 2021

Auckland Cricket: Coaching Trio on board for 2021/22

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Photo Credit: Auckland Cricket

The countdown is on for summer and we are delighted to announce the appointment of three familiar faces to the High-Performance team.

Auckland Cricket welcomes Ian West to the coaching staff as the new Performance and Talent Coach – Male, and Donovan Grobbelaar as the Performance and Talent Coach – Female.

Both West and Grobbelaar will provide assistant coaching support for the ACES and HEARTS respectively, while also engaging, supporting, and connecting our talent programmes to the ACES and HEARTS.

Club Coach of the Year Azhar Abbas also joins the team as the Specialist Bowling Coach for the ACES and Male A Programme Coach.

Director of Talent and Performance Daniel Archer is excited to bring new faces into the High-Performance Coaching team.

“We are delighted to add three quality people in Ian, Donovan and Azhar to our Performance and Talent Programmes across these important coaching roles.

“Collectively, all three of our new coaches bring a diverse set of skills and experiences that I see complimenting and enhancing our current Head Coaches, Heinrich Malan, and Nick White to build a strong and exciting coaching team for the 2021-22 season.”

“I know our programmes will benefit greatly from their contributions as we look to begin laying strong foundations for Auckland Cricket on and off the field.

West, who had a historic run of success with the Parnell Cricket Club, is excited to get his opportunity at the next level.

“Having worked with most of the squad at the A / age-group level, I’m looking forward to reconnecting and working alongside a world-class coach in Heinrich.

“Success at Parnell came from a deliberate approach in how the players wanted to learn and develop. I’m keen to foster that mentality with the ACES and hopefully celebrate winning some trophies in the coming season.”

Grobbelaar is equally excited about the opportunity ahead.

“There is some serious talent in the HEARTS group and I am thrilled to be involved.

“As a coach, I thrive on helping others get better and helping them see new and different ways of approaching the game.

I feel privileged to be a part of their cricketing journey and being able to pass on some knowledge and experience to develop their skills further.”

Grobbelaar said, ‘During his time with Howick Pakuranga and the Women’s U19 side, I have learnt that women think and learn differently from men.”

“Acknowledging and appreciating those differences allows me to get the most out of the relationship and time I have with the group. The HEARTS are keen to listen and learn and have shown an impressive work ethic.”

Abbas has been working with the ACES bowling group through the winter, bringing a wealth of experience and knowledge around the specific area of pace/seam bowling.

Abbas said he looks at the ACES bowling line-up and sees a talented group that tick a lot of boxes.

“I’m looking forward to seeing growth in the attack, especially around intensity, adaptability and consistency.

“The best part about this group is the versatility. All of our bowlers are unique and offer different strengths and skillsets.”

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