Bell to help with North City revival
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.’’