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Andy McCrea to take up new NCU Coaches Mentor Role

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Andy McCrea has agreed to take up a role as 'Coach Mentor' to support the growing number of regional and club coaches involved within the NCU. The NCU regional programme now has player development programmes running all year round, with Coaching Camps open to all Clubs running from October to December each year, as well as Performance and Development squads training year-round. Last summer, the NCU had over 50 match days across its youth programme, both boys and girls and this number of match days is due to grow again this summer.

The expansion of player development programmes has also required more coaches to support delivery of those programmes.  During the Winter Regional Coaching Camps, there were over 30 club coaches involved and this growing number has resulted in the NCU to ask Andy McCrea to undertake this new role, in order to also support coach development through NCU programmes.

Speaking on this new role, Angela Platt, NCU General Manager, said 'With such growth in coaching numbers and players participating in NCU programmes, we all understand the importance of supporting the development of our growing band of coaches, as well as our players. Andy McCrea has significant experience as a coach educator having been involved with Cricket Ireland Coach Education for over 15 years. 

As a qualified ECB Level 3 coach Andy has already been working with coaches in their activities and assessment across a wide spectrum of qualifications from 'Welcome to Cricket' to ECB Level 2 and 3.  Andy has also been a representative coach for over 25 years and has been lead coach with the NCU Boys U11 Performance squad in its current format for over 6 years.  We look forward to seeing the positive impact Andy will have through this important role, supporting the development of coaches across the NCU regional programmes.'

Cricket Ireland have recently facilitated an ECB Level 2 course within the NCU region and through Department for Communities investment, the NCU have also been able to host Masterclass Coaching workshops from renowned Level 4 coaches, which our regional and club coaches were invited to attend.

Some of our learning from the recent coach development visit to Surrey CCC highlighted the importance of continuing develop and upskill our regional coaches and enable them to share this knowledge back at their clubs.

Simon Johnston, NCU Pathway Coach, has established methods for knowledge sharing of coach development resources through Dropbox folders and Whats App groups.  This enables wider sharing of information and knowledge across the broader coaching group.  It has also been great to see some coaches adding material here also as we share knowledge to a wider audience.

Andy's role will be to provide support to the development of budding coaches, sharing best practice and act as a sounding board for Lead and Assistant coaches across all NCU programmes.

Andy McCrea, commenting on this new role, said 'I think it's a superb step in the right direction for the NCU to be investing resources in their coaching workforce and I really am looking forward to working with all the coaches across all the environments. I see this Coach Mentor role as an opportunity to reassure the coaches and the NCU of all the good work that is going on yet also providing challenge and opportunity for coaches to keep developing their skills and the product they provide which will ultimately enhance the players progression.'

In order to focus fully on the Coach Mentor role Andy is coming out of his existing role as Lead Coach for NCU U11 Boys Programme.  However, the NCU is delighted that Steven Crothers has agreed to take over the Lead Coach role.