The Rodney Cricket Association continues to ramp up its player development programme this summer with the appointment of ex-Black Cap Brendon Bracewell as coach.
Bracewell is working with both junior and senior cricketers in the area, after moving to Warkworth last year.
He is no stranger to coaching after establishing cricket academies in Tauranga, Wairarapa and Hawkes Bay. Through those he has guided current Black Cap players such as his son Douglas and captain Kane Williamson.
He runs weekly sessions with juniors at Mahurangi College and is focused on developing their skills for when they reach senior level.
“What we have currently is a keen group of young cricketers who are very raw at this stage,” Bracewell says. “Training involves learning the fundamentals of the game through bowling and batting in the practice nets.
“Training is all about enhancing skills and we use equipment such as ball machines so we can do that effectively We then have to make sure they can take those skills into a game situation.”
Bracewell says a number of juniors show promise.
“You can always identify the kids with potential because they have a desire to improve and commit to practice in their own time.”
His work with the Kaipara Flats Premiers is at a more advanced level, but development is still the main goal.
Meanwhile, Rodney Cricket celebrated the opening of new $150,000 cricket nets at Kaipara Flats, Bourne Dean Domain, late last year. Association chair Kevin Forde says the previous nets were worn and were affected by winter’s heavy rainfall.
“We couldn’t use the nets until November, but this new facility is elevated and should cater for year-round training,” Forde says. “Twice these nets were scheduled for construction and then removed from the budget, so it’s great to finally have this project finished.”