Former Irish international van der Merwe appointed Talent Pathway Manager
DUBLIN – Cricket Ireland has today announced the appointment of former Irish International Albert van der Merwe as the new national Talent Pathway Manager and Coach – a new role created to oversee the Ireland Talent Pathway Programme.
In further enhancements to the back-of house pathway coaching set-up, Ed Joyce has been engaged as a batting consultant focussing on youth and Academy talent and the senior women’s team, while Ryan Eagleson will expand his current Academy coaching duties to oversee talent pathway coaching on-the-ground across Northern Ireland along with supporting the pace bowling program.
The new roles will report to Pete Johnston, Cricket Ireland Academy and Performance Manager.
The 39-year old van der Merwe, played 21 times for Ireland between 2010 and 2012. A right-arm off-spinner, he claimed 40 wickets at an average of 22.55, with a best of 6-27 against Kenya in 2012.
After finishing his international career, van der Merwe continued playing at club level and developing his coaching career, being appointed Head Coach of Leinster Lightning in 2016, leading a squad that has won five titles and cups during his tenure.
Image: Albert van der Merwe (3rd from left, back row) with his cup-winning Leinster Lightning side in 2018
Richard Holdsworth, Performance Director for Cricket Ireland, said:
“We are gradually improving and expanding our coaching support structures within the national set-up, and we are delighted to have appointed Albert, who emerged from a field of local and international candidates as the person we believe can shape and move this challenging role forward. His role has been created to feed the recruitment processes of the most talented young players from schools, clubs and Provincial Unions to the Cricket Ireland Shapoorji Pallonji National Academy and Inter-Provincial structure, which provides them with the opportunity of achieving their potential.”
“The scope of the new role is quite substantial, as it will lead and oversee Cricket Ireland’s player development programme for all under-age national youth teams (Boys Under-13, Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and Girl’s Under-15, Under-17 and Under-19), and will be responsible for the development and implementation of a strategy for the recruitment and development of players within these areas.”
“While Albert will begin on 7 May, we are aware of the impact of Leinster Lightning losing its Head Coach on the cusp of the domestic season, so to support our colleagues at Cricket Leinster during this transition period Albert will continue as the Lightning’s Head Coach until a replacement is in place.”
Pete Johnston said:
“Aside from his provincial head coach responsibility, Albie has been working as a specialist coach within our Academy and Emerging Players Programme for several years now. He’s well respected and has already formed great relationships with many players and coaches, and comes into the new role with an existing knowledge of our pathway system, as well as being aware of the challenges we face. Albie has also been instrumental in setting up the Lightning Bolts programme which supports emerging Leinster Lightning players.”
“His appointment - along with the news on Ryan and Ed - will be a huge boost of support to all our Irish youth players and their parents or guardians who have shown great commitment to an ever increasing training, support and match programme. We believe that whatever the outcome, the journey will be challenging but fun and rewarding along the way, and Albie will complement this nicely.”
“With the ever-increasing demands of the men’s Future Tours Programme, and increased opportunities for the Ireland Women’s team, Albie will play a major role in developing future Irish internationals that are capable of performing against the best teams in the world. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Ed and Ryan, and we welcome Albie to our team.”
Albert Van Der Merwe said:
“I am honoured to have been considered and naturally delighted to have been offered this role. The role is at the heart of developing future international players for the international teams, something that I’m very excited to be a part of. I’m hoping to build on the great work that has been done by so many to get Irish cricket firmly on the world stage and I hope to help with the continuous progression of the game across the island.”
“The scope of the role is something that appealed to me and I can’t wait to get started. I’d like to thank Cricket Ireland for entrusting me with this responsibility and Cricket Leinster who have been incredibly supportive.”