Thursday, July 25, 2024

Brisbane Heat: Sorell new Head Coach | Fresh challenge for Noffke

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Photo Credit: Brisbane Heat

Queensland Fire and WBBL Brisbane Heat coach Ashley Noffke will move onto a new challenge after accepting an overseas head coaching role with the Otago Volts in New Zealand.

Noffke will finish up with Queensland Cricket this week, with former Australian women’s coach Mark Sorell appointed as his replacement for the Fire and Heat coaching roles for the coming season.

Noffke took on the Heat and Fire coaching roles in 2019-20, winning a WBBL title in his first season and guiding Queensland to its inaugural Women’s National Cricket League title in 2020-21.

He was twice WBBL coach of the year.

Sorell, who has been an assistant coach with the Fire and Heat and part of the QC pathways system for the past five years, began his coaching career with South Australia where he coached the State women’s and men’s teams.

He was Australian women’s coach between 2005 and 2007, with the squad winning 17 out of 21 One Day Internationals during that period.

Queensland Cricket and Brisbane Heat CEO Terry Svenson thanked Noffke for his dedication to the Fire and Heat squads.

“Not only did Ash provide a strong framework of success for the Fire and Heat players, he also played a significant role in helping develop our next generation of talent,” he said.

“We thank him for his hard work and passion in the role and wish him the best as he takes the next step in his coaching career.”

“Queensland Cricket is delighted to elevate Mark Sorell to the head coaching role for the season ahead. He is vastly experienced and has a strong rapport with the current playing group, as well as our emerging talent,” Svenson said.

Sorell will be joined in the WBBL Heat coaching structure by former Fire and Heat pace bowler Courtney Winfield-Hill, who will reprise the assistant role she filled last season.

He will also call upon State Female Talent Manager Jeff Thomas and other Queensland Cricket Academy staff during the pre-season and the upcoming summer.

Sorell said he was excited about the challenge of coaching the Fire and Heat, with each team finishing as runners-up in the WNCL and WBBL last summer.

“The WBBL is one of the premier competitions in the world and it is a thrill to be involved as a head coach of program once more,” he said.

“Ash leaves behind an enthusiastic and committed group of players for Queensland and the Heat and we’re excited about the summer ahead. The Fire have recently started pre-season and we are working hard on putting the finishing touches on our WBBL plans.”

Noffke thanked the playing and coaching staff for their commitment to Queensland Cricket.

“It’s bittersweet to be leaving the Fire and the Heat. I’m excited about what lies ahead, especially working in a new program, but there are a lot of good memories from my time in Queensland.

“I’m thankful for the guidance and support from the senior players, especially Jess Jonassen and Georgia Redmayne, and Mark as the assistant coach who is also a good mate.”

“I wish the players, coaches and staff every success this year and look forward to watching the Heat and Fire teams flourish in the summers ahead,” Noffke said.

WBBL Heat and Queensland Fire captain Jess Jonassen said Queensland Cricket was well-placed to manage the coaching transition.

“We’ve undergone some change throughout the off season and to have ‘Motsa’ commit to the Head Coach position is a great way to provide our group with some stability moving forward,” she said.

“He is extremely experienced and brings a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm to the role. I’m excited to see him dive in and continue to challenge the group.

“Obviously it’s sad to see ‘Noffers’ go; he has been pivotal in helping me grow as a player and more importantly, as a leader.

“He has always brought a lot of structure to the program and has consistently looked to challenge players to improve holistically.

“His care for the program has been evident throughout his entire five years with us and I know he will be continuing to follow the group closely from afar,” Jonassen said.


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