Greenway starts the search for new generation
LYDIA Greenway will be remembered as one of England’s all-time greats and now the newly-appointed playercoach at Kent is hoping to discover her successor for county and country.
Greenway, 31, retired from England duty last summer after 13 years competing on the international stage.
She is now in charge of the seven-time county champions – primarily working with the oneday team while still plying her trade in the T20s in the wake of the departure of former county and England captain Charlotte Edwards.
And while this new role was not in her mind when she hung up her international spikes last year, the left-handed batter is determined to make the best of the opportunity.
“My main role with the oneday will be coaching, but I’ll still be playing T20,” Farnboroughborn Greenway said.
“I want to make sure everyone has got what they need and then I’ll look after myself as well.
“The player-coach position was never a role I had in my head when I retired.
“It’s just been a natural progression to that situation really. It’s always been something I was keen to get involved in.
“As a team, we’ve had success over the years, and we’ve had good people in place to lead that.
“Charlotte Edwards has until now always been at the front and now it’s up to someone like myself and the other senior players involved to take on that new responsibility.
“It will be a huge challenge, but one that I’m really excited for.”
Greenway made 225 appearances for England, including 14 Test appearances, 126 ODIs and 85 in T20Is before drawing a line under her international career in June.
As a middle-order batsman, Greenway scored one international century, an unbeaten 125 against South Africa in 2011, as well as passing 50 twice in Tests, twice in T20Is and 12 times in ODIs.
In her new coaching capacity, she has emphasised the desire to focus her attention on Kent’s young talent, and she has vowed to make that a major part of her coaching strategy, saying: “A big thing for me is trying to get more of the young girls coming through the system, who have got the potential to go on and represent the senior team.
“To start with that may just be ensuring that the juniors come along to senior games and help out in the warm-up, to familiarise themselves with the senior environment.
“In winter training as well, the senior team train with the U17 team. There’s a few potentially promising players coming through.
“It’s really important for us now to make sure that’s continued. Exposing those players now is a good thing to do.”
Kent will be defending the County Championship title they won in 2016 and have an excellent domestic record in recent years.
They have won the crown seven times in 11 seasons, including four times out of the last six.
Greenway has been a large part of Kent’s success in that time, and starred in the 2010 season when she finished as the leading run-scorer in the County Championship with 628.
And with such solid ground to build from, Greenway is confident of future success.
“It varies from county to county, but Kent are fortunate in that we’ve always had a good, strong set-up,” added Greenway.
“With Kent, we’re lucky in that we’ve got so many senior players and the team has been so selfsufficient. We always have a steady influx of players coming through.
“Our focus is on developing the young players as much as possible, teaching them about decision-making, the game from a tactical point of view and the mental side of the game.
“I certainly think that is a huge area and perhaps not always looked at as closely as it should be.
“Hopefully, with the experience I’ve got, as well as the likes of other senior players such as Laura Marsh and Tammy Beaumont, we can help develop that in the younger players.”
Big hitter: Lydia Greenway aims to bring her England ODI dynamism to nurturing Kent’s production line of talent