Bell to help with North City re­vival

Kapi-Mana News - - PAST TIMES - KRIS DANDO

Matthew Bell is a coach with a lot on his plate al­ready, but North City Cricket Club is in his sights.

The for­mer Black Cap, North­ern Dis­tricts and Wellington bats­man re­cently moved to Aotea. Although busy as as­sis­tant and bat­ting coach for the na­tional White Ferns team, coach of the Wellington un­der-19s and named in June as the new Wellington Blaze head coach, he is look­ing for­ward to a newly con­firmed role at North City.

‘‘I guess you could say they’re my lo­cal club and I’m hop­ing to heal some wounds from the last cou­ple of years,’’ he said.

North City’s top team - which can boast Mark Gille­spie and Fire­bird Michael Pol­lard if avail­able - spent last sum­mer play­ing the sec­ond-tier Ha­zlett Trophy. The de­ci­sion was made to pull them from the top grade fol­low­ing the ex­o­dus of a num­ber of play­ers for other clubs af­ter the 2014/15 sea­son.

Bell said with a new chair­man, Do­minic Roger­son, and com­mit­tee, on board, the fu­ture was rosy for North City.

‘‘I’m still get­ting my head around my new role and there will be some ad­just­ments to be made, but it’s good to be get­ting a feel for club cricket again. I’m coach­ing dif­fer­ent ages, men and women, and you need to be able to adapt your philoso­phies and val­ues each time.’’

Bell said du­ties with the White Ferns meant he would not be avail­able for North City in the lat­ter part of this year, but the com­ing two months would be cru­cial as he helped put build­ing blocks in place at the club. He would ‘‘coach coaches’’ to step in dur­ing his ab­sences.

A high per­for­mance cul­ture was nec­es­sary, he said, so hav­ing for­mer Black Cap Grant El­liott on board as a men­tor and Gemma Broad - sis­ter of Eng­land in­ter­na­tional Stu­art - as a video an­a­lyst would help.

Per­for­mance plans for each player would be­come the norm, he said, along with es­tab­lish­ing re­la­tion­ships with Porirua basin schools was also cru­cial.

‘‘We have a three-to-four year plan we’re go­ing to set up and part of that is earn­ing trust in the community. What is im­por­tant is mak­ing North City a club that lo­cal crick­eters from Tawa and Porirua want to play for, and others from out­side the area look at.

‘‘We need the tal­ent to stay in our back yard in or­der to build.’’

He cited Onslow as an ex­am­ple of a club that set up a strat­egy some years ago and was now reap­ing the re­wards with se­nior club suc­cess.

Roger­son said it had been a pos­i­tive process with Cricket Wellington to re­gain premier sta­tus.

‘‘We’ve re­ally had to drill down and make some de­ci­sions about what was needed to re­cover.’’

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