Ynysygerwn CC announced the high profile signing of former Glamorgan CCC, Essex CCC and England A international Darren Thomas over the winter months. Darren joins the club with a similar role to what he held at both Mumbles CC and Bridgend CC, where he was highly successful at both, leading both sides to South Wales Premier League titles.
Darren takes the role of Head Coach at Ynysygerwn CC and already his quality coaching has had an immediate effect on the players. Training numbers have already increased from previous seasons, while competition for places in the 1st XI are more competitive.
Darren said "I've been very impressed by how the club communicates and the direction it is currently going. After speaking to Mark Davies (Team Manager pictured below playing for Gloucestershire CCC) about Ynysygerwn cricket plans on how they wanted a culture change to mirror the success of the football at the club - I believe the move is the right one for me."
With Ynysygerwn producing a number of 1st XI teenage players over the past decade, Darren wants to help in their progression adding "I'm really looking forward to bringing a sense of professionalism in preparation, training with purpose, getting players to understand their games a little better and offering advice to as many cricketers as possible within the club. I believe there is a good blend of experience and youth in the senior squad - Adam Sylvester, Scott Thornton, Nishanth Dalavaye, Dan Davies, and Nathan Davies will undoubtedly have a huge part to play this season in the first team. The experienced players also have a huge part to play and we will be looking at performances on a consistent basis from them - but admittedly the emergence of youth is something that really excites me as a coach, and the blend is something we need to get right."
The youth system is an area Ynysygerwn are proud of and over the last few years that has been mainly down to the hard work of Sean Evans, Darren continued "Sean Evans and the other coaches seem to be doing a sterling job with the junior section - the addition of All Star Cricket is something the club should thrive upon (with) 5-8 year olds running around on a Saturday morning playing cricket. This is a very exciting initiative which could create a lot of interest nationally for our sport. The senior squads have bought into an idea of extra coaching for the junior section players on a Saturday morning - this will be a rotational with the junior squads, and the 1st and 2nd team players will be helping out."
The development of our own young players is high on the agenda, and extra sessions will be available as Darren went on to say "We are looking at assisting the more elite young players at the club, in essence trying to fast track their development into senior cricket. These sessions will be run intitially on a Saturday morning when the 1st XI are home and then on a Thursday evening before senior squad training during the school holidays."
Three junior players have already caught the eye of the international selectors this year and Darren was full of praise "I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Nishanth Dalavaye (Aged 17), James Thomas (Aged 13) and Cian Davies (Aged 12) for their selection into the Cricket Wales teams for 2017."
As well as Head Coach Darren will be playing for Ynysygerwn CC and will make his 1st team debut tomorrow at Cardiff CC.
We like to wish Darren all the best for the 2017 season and we hope he enjoys his time at the club.