Photo Credit: On Shot Photography
By Ahmad Khawaja
The Board of Indoor Cricket New Zealand have confirmed further coaching and manager appointments for the Women’s Over-30 side at the Masters World Cup in Cape Town, South Africa in October whilst the Under-22 Boys and Girls teams have had their own coaching staff bolstered as they build towards a home series against Australia this September.
New Zealand Over-30 Women: Keith Enoka (Head Coach); Rebecca Enoka (Manager)
Former New Zealand Men’s and Masters player and former New Zealand Women’s Coach Keith Enoka returns to the court for another opportunity at World Series glory as he takes the reins of the Women’s Over-30 side for the Masters World Series in Cape Town this October. Not only does Enoka bring a wealth of playing and coaching experience to the role, but he will be supported by his wife Rebecca who will be the team’s manager.
Enoka is a veteran of Indoor Cricket in New Zealand, having played for several years in Open Men’s and Masters’ teams and last featured for a Masters’ side at the 2005 World Series in Port Elizabeth. He coached the Open Women’s team at the 2002 World Cup in Wellington and 17 years on gets another chance to coach a Women’s side, something he is relishing the prospect of. “I’m looking forward to making an impact on the 2019 Masters World Series this year, especially with the talent we have in the squad for this tournament. I hope I can impart my experience and guidance on the squad, gained from my years playing with and against some of the best sporting minds and players. The key will be in adapting to a variety of different styles and game plans against the best nations on show. I’m looking forward to the challenge ahead and the build-up to what is hopefully a successful tournament for New Zealand”, said Enoka.
Rebecca Enoka’s experience with rugby management and operations will be highly valuable in what is naturally a high pressure environment, and her appointment will ensure the team will be well managed in the lead-up to and throughout the tournament.
New Zealand Under-22 Boys: Sunnie Chan (Co-Coach)
Recently retired New Zealand player Sunnie Chan will take on his second New Zealand age-group coaching duty in as many months after being appointed as co-coach of the New Zealand Under-22 Boys, joining Paul Anderson who was named coach in August 2018.
Chan cultivated an impressive playing career having debuted for the Open Men’s side in 2002 and went on to represent New Zealand on almost 50 occasions until retiring after the Over-35 series against Australia in September 2017.
He recently led the New Zealand A Under-17 Boys side to a fourth place finish at the recent Junior World Series last October and is excited about the chance to be involved in the Under-22 side, something he is taking very seriously. “To be honest, I don’t think I’ve been this excited for a while. From my perspective, Paul and myself have the future of New Zealand’s indoor cricketers in this group and that is a huge responsibility”, said Chan. He continued “to be appointed is an honour and just like a player playing for their country this is a position earned, it isn’t a right. I’m looking to give back to the sport that has given me so much and I will not be taking this job lightly; we are building towards winning the World Cup next year, something that eluded us up to now. It is time for a change”.
Having recently been in charge of age-group side, Chan has taken some learnings from the experience which he will look to impart into his next playing group. “A big one for me would be having a solid plan that we believe in and getting the players to buy in to it. Ensuring the players are best prepared and understanding when it is right to go with your instincts. That is all vital when you play better sides especially and we pushed those teams hard at the Junior World Series tournament”, Chan noted.
His history with Anderson has also provided him with added incentive to get involved in the coaching mix at this age-group. “I’ve played under Paul in the New Zealand Masters (Over-35) in 2017 when he was our coach. I’m looking forward to working with him as he has a wealth of knowledge in indoor cricket. He hasn’t coached this age-group before so it will be a new dynamic for both us, looking to bounce ideas off each other”, Chan said.
New Zealand Under-22 Girls: Robin James (Assistant Coach)
Current New Zealand Over-45 squad member Robin James has joined the coaching staff of the New Zealand Girls Under-22 side, joining fellow Cantabrian Kim Minogue who was appointed head coach in August 2018.
James played for the New Zealand Over-40 team at the previous Masters World Series in Birmingham in October 2016 and recently represented New Zealand again in a home series against Australia in Tauranga in September 2017. He also brings a considerable amount of coaching expertise to the role, having been the co-coach of the Canterbury Under-21 Boys team in 2016 and 2017 whilst also coaching the New Zealand Under-15 Boys side in 2015 and most recently at the 2018 Junior World Series in Christchurch, where they finished third. His son Ryan was part of the victorious New Zealand Under-17 Boys side.
James is looking forward to the opportunity to be involved again in the age-group set-up, whilst also having the chance to assist Minogue in the role in developing the players with a view to the 2020 World Cup. “I feel privileged to be involved; it’s an exciting time in indoor cricket at the moment and especially with the young talent coming through in the Women’s game” said James. He also noted “my job will be to help to Kim implement her plans and strategies as we work towards the goal of the upcoming World Cup. I see working with Kim as a great bonus for my development as a coach; she has a huge amount of knowledge and wisdom in the indoor game and myself and the girls are very fortunate to be able to learn from her”.
“Pleased with the quality of coaches selected”
Indoor Cricket New Zealand Chairman Tony Watkins was complimentary of the coaching staff appointed and fully endorsed their positions on the respective teams.
“The Board is excited to appoint these quality coaches, all of which have proven themselves on the international stage”, said Watkins. “Robin James and Sunnie Chan were both involved with the Junior World Series in 2018 as head coaches and we see this as the next progression for both of their coaching careers. We are really excited to welcome both Keith and Rebecca Enoka back into the sport to head up the Masters World Series Women’s campaign for 2019. As we are targeting this grade as a gold medal opportunity, having these two involved only increases our chances of bringing back gold”.
While the Enoka’s will settle into their work with the Women’s Masters’ side shortly, the Under-22 coaches’ first stop will be the Senior Provincials later this year with a view to selecting the squads for the subsequent home series against Australia.