This year the event included participants from Denmark, Isle of Man, Scotland, Jersey, Ireland, Italy, Gibraltar, and Germany. German youngsters Rohit Singh (Berlin) and Tahsildar Admadsa (Munich), were accompanied by coach Keith Matthews (ECB L2) who also comes from Munich.
The event, run over a 4 day programme of intensive activity, is set in one of the world’s best sports and leisure resorts, with the cricket centre comprising of two pitches and four nets.
Right from the outset the ICC coaching team created a non-competitive and enjoyable atmosphere in which to deliver against the CoE philosophy. Namely; “to help identify and select the most talented young cricketers in Europe at this age group , and develop them through excellent coaching and support services in order for them to achieve their potential . To help produce national team cricketers at age group level rather than cricketers who play for their country”.
In this context, both Rohit and Tahsildar quickly immersed themselves into this unique opportunity to develop themselves and work with some very experienced coaches. This year’s coaching team included; Phil Hudson (ECB L4), Richard O’Sullivan (ECB L3), Alan Patterson (ECB L3 – Scotland) and Andy Northcote (ECB L3 – Italy).
On completion of a comprehensive set of warm up drills, progression was made to specifically tailored fielding sessions on the first day. Video recording and analysis, using Kinovea software, of players bowling and batting techniques were also included. Day 2 provided an opportunity for the ICC coaching team to provide one-to-one sessions with players and agree personal areas to be focussed on during the bowling and batting sessions. It is noteworthy that the supporting software is downloadable free of charge, and provided an excellent medium to support the ‘flip’ camera.
Day 3 provided further specific batting and bowling sessions in the nets, and a chance for country coaches to provide further warm-up and fielding drills on one of the two pitches. Keen to put much nets practice into a game situation, the day was concluded by with short match. This provided a further opportunity for coaches to observe, analyse and provide another one-to-one feedback to players. The concluding Day 4 presented an opportunity for a 45 over match, and to put into practice refined techniques in a competitive setting. Both German players performed very well amongst their peers, particularly Rohit who achieved the highest batting score of 86 Not Out.
Both Rohit and Tahsildar, as all-rounders, received very detailed feedback on the original videoing of both their bowling and batting. Each were given ample opportunity to review these with the nominated ICC coach for Germany players, Simon Dannapfel from Finland. Much thanks is extended to Simon of the positive & constructive way Simon provided the feedback, and inclusion of Keith as country coach, in the analysis and feedback. It was most evident that the virtually all of the core technique issues were irradiated by the end of the 4 day programme. This said, the importance of continued development plans and coach/mentoring was reinforced by witnessing a few ‘old habits’ returning when playing in a competitive setting.
With player development firmly at the heart of the event and within a co-supportive environment across ICC and country coaches alike, all participants left La Manga with a sense of real achievement. It is worthy of note ICC Regional Development Officer (Europe) Chris Porter concluding remark that the quality of players attending this year were the best they have ever witnessed.
A big thank you is extended to all those who have worked on the Germany side to provide this opportunity for Rohit, Tahsildar and Keith, and a special thanks to all involved from the ICC team.