New beginnings for the youth section


by Peter Jones and Mike Mandzuk


Most of Fordhouses Cricket Club’s members, players and parents would be aware that Chris Guest decided to step down from his post as Director of Cricket at the end of 2019. Over many years Chris has provided the inspirational leadership, coupled with his coaching technical skills that have massively contributed to the impressive success of cricket development across the whole club. The most obvious legacy he leaves is a thriving Junior Section and the emergence of fresh young talented cricketers – something that is so desperately needed to sustain our playing status in the various leagues we compete in.


Everyone at FCC extend their best wishes to Chris, both in his personal life with his partner Steph and his young son Kit. and in the future challenges he faces in his employment with ECB. However, all is not lost in terms of continuity because Chris has expressed a strong desire to remain as Club Captain and First Team Coach.


In the meantime, your Club Officers recognise the importance of appointing someone with the appropriate experience to take on the key position of Head Coach – Junior Section. We are delighted to announce that Matt Jones is taking on this important role from January 2020. He will have overall responsibility for coordinating all matters relating to cricket activities across the Club’s Junior Section.


Matt is well known in the local cricket club scene, playing in the first team at Penkridge from the age of fifteen. He was part of the Staffs Clubs Championship representative team that enjoyed great success in the MCCC Inter-League Tournament. Although he has adopted a low profile in terms of playing in recent years Matt is still more than capable of contributing to the scoreboard of Fordhouses 3rd/4th team, including a knock of 154 not out last season! However, Matt likes to stress that he gets more fulfilment from helping young players progress and make their way into adult teams at Fordhouses.


His coaching experience spans over 20 years, including gaining his Level 2 qualification under the guidance of Kevin Sharp, current Head Coach at Worcestershire CCC. More recently Matt has coached the Staffordshire under 11’s and under 13 girls County age groups, delivering winter programmes, facilitating festivals/squad sessions and running matches. He is fully committed to enhancing his coaching knowledge and expertise and is half way through his ECB level 3 Advanced coaching course at Derbyshire CCC.


Matt’s coaching philosophy is to challenge players above their playing level, so they find it easier – ‘train hard, play easy’.


His appointment offers a re-think on how we do things at the Club in respect of work with our young people. Let’s look forward to these exciting new opportunities.

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