In another major boost for the local game, Cricket Ireland, in conjunction with support from Sport Northern Ireland, today announced the appointment of two development officers who will be working in the NCU and NW regions.
29 year old Irish international Nigel Jones will have responsibility for the NCU region. The Civil Service North captain has played 25 times for Ireland, and has gained extensive playing and coaching experience in New Zealand, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
His counterpart in the NW region is 28 year old Brian Allen, who has played representative cricket for the NW and Ireland A. The current Fox Lodge captain is a current level 3 coach, and is a certified Coach Education tutor and assessor. His previous cricket development experience included a three year spell as NWCU Development Officer from 2006-2009.
National Development Manager Tim Simmonite said of the appointments: “I’m delighted to welcome the two lads to Cricket Ireland’s ever-increasing Development Team. With their range of experiences – Nigel as a current International player with an extensive coaching background, and Brian with his previous skills and knowledge in cricket development – they are two excellent appointments. I look forward to working with them in the continued drive to develop our game to the highest possible standards.”
NCU Chairman Brian Walsh was clearly delighted by the appointment stating: “The NCU is delighted to welcome Nigel Jones as their Cricket Development Officer. The appointment of a Development Officer in the NCU will allow the union to develop priority areas such as youth cricket, club/school links, girls and women’s cricket, and club accreditation.With Nigel’s appointment we believe we have the perfect choice to realise our aspirations.”
NW Chairman Joe Doherty said: “Brian Allen is well known in the North West, both as a talented player at club and representative levels and as a CDO, having held a post here in the recent past. With our new structures, we are delighted to welcome Brian back to spearhead our development effort, not least in the areas that do not have a tradition of grass roots cricket. Brian has a special talent for working with cricket ‘newcomers’ and I know he will hit the ground running in this respect. There is undoubtedly a rich harvest out there and to have Brian back on our North West team is an exciting development.”
The Development Officers will begin their roles this month.