CHANGES to Jersey Cricket “bring dual benefits”, according to chief executive Sarah Gomersall.
At the recent Jersey Cricket AGM, Gomersall and the rest of the board announced their statement of intent for moving into 2024, including several major staffing changes.
In a year that will see the men’s side compete in two World Cup qualifying tournaments, and the women’s side push towards ICC Division 1, the newly named Jersey Cricket Limited are laying down plans for big change, both international and domestic.
In an effort to support local cricket better, former women’s national team head coach Lee Meloy has been offered the new role of head of cricket operations.
Gomersall said of the new appointment: “We always want to ensure we can support and promote our local cricket system.
“Lee is a superb appointment for this role. He has been involved in local cricket, as a player, coach and administrator, for a long time now and is excellently placed to take on the challenges facing us.
“Creating this role was one of our key strategic objectives. We want to re-energise domestic cricket on the Island.”
Meloy will leave his women’s head coach role, which he took on in January 2020.
In his tenure, the women’s section of Jersey Cricket has grown dramatically, with massive increases in grassroots participation and ICC success at international level.
In his new role, priorities will include management of local facilities, including securing indoor training facilities and assessing the impact of damage caused by Storm Ciarán to FB Fields.
Currently home to a vast array of junior and senior cricket, as well as being the home ground of the Old Victorians Cricket Club, FB Fields is a crucial facility for domestic cricket, and Gomersall was keen to stress its importance to the local game.
Gomersall said: “Bringing Lee in for this role will bring fresh ideas on how the local game should be organised.
“This role plays to Lee’s strengths, he’s already been involved in lots of it already so it should be a smooth transition.”
With this appointment, it leaves a vacancy at the head of the women’s game.
Gomersall is keen to use this opportunity to bring in an experienced top-level coach to continue to drive the women’s game forwards.
“We are excited at the opportunity of hopefully bringing in a top-level coach to lead the women’s national team.
“Whoever comes in will be able to walk into a thriving set-up which has the ambition to reach new heights.
The women’s side has had a successful 12 months, playing fixtures and recording superb results against the likes of county clubs Middlesex and Kent.
The Jersey chief executive continued: “We are hoping that relationships we have built with English clubs will help aiding the popularity of the role and put us in a good position to attract the right sort of applicants.
“We know it would be an amazing role for anyone to land.
“The senior side have consistently shown their potential, so we want this appointment to reflect the direction we are moving in.”
The girls’ junior squads, named the Lionesses, have boomed in recent years with impressive numbers playing at grassroots and junior Jersey age-group level.
Gomersall added: “We hope bringing in someone new who is a good role model will continue the excellent work done by Lee [Meloy] and the other coaches, Rose Hill and Luke Gallichan. I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly say thank you to them.
“Jersey Cricket is also grateful for the contribution made by Maddy White as girls’ development coach during this recent phase of development for women and girls’ cricket on the Island.
“We are very pleased with the increase in participation numbers and we want to capitalise on that with this appointment, and welcome more girls to play cricket.”
The coaching recruitment continues into the boys’ game as well, as Jersey Cricket are also looking to hire a new boys’ junior development coach on a part-time basis, to work alongside junior development officer and men’s national team player Dominic Blampied.
With such change at foot, Gomersall added: “Since joining as CEO in February, I have had a year to see what we as the board want moving forwards and have identified key areas we need to address.
“We will take our time with these appointments, as we know they will be crucial in the development of Island cricket as a whole for years to come.”