ICC Europe Media Release
The Centre of Excellence, organised by ICC Regional Development Officer John Stock, aims to identify and support a crop of the most talented young cricketers in Europe by providing them with the resources needed to develop their talents through excellent coaching and support services. This is the fourth consecutive year that the camp will be held at the leisure resort located in Murcia, South-Eastern Spain on the Costa Calida. Due to the success of previous camps, the 2009 event has been extended from five days to one week, providing an even greater opportunity for the young cricketers to hone their skills in first-class cricket facilities including two pitches with artificial wickets and a four-bay artificial net facility.
The players, all aged between 14 and 17, come from 13 European countries, including Europe's top three Associate member countries: Ireland, the Netherlands and Scotland; as well as Affiliate member countries, such as Switzerland and Isle of Man.
Accompanying the group will be 13 leaders, all of whom currently hold coaching or development officer roles in each of the participating country boards. Leaders will offer further support to their country players, whilst at the same time take part in a separate coach education programme tailored to their specific needs. For these participants there will also be the opportunity to work alongside and learn from the ICC Europe coaching team who will lead sessions on batting, bowling, fielding and wicket keeping, and additional seminars on physical conditioning, tactics and leadership. The Centre of Excellence concludes with two Twenty20 matches on the final day.
"The Centre of Excellence is a great opportunity for these young players as it takes them out of their comfort zones and really opens their eyes to the standard of cricket which exists outside their own country, " said John Stock.
"Our focus for the Centre of Excellence is on identifying and nurturing talent, creating national players at age-group levels whilst simultaneously offering country leaders a comprehensive coaching programme to further their cricket education, which can in turn be put to good use when they return to their home countries," he added.
Joining John Stock in the coaching team will be Centre of Excellence Director Richard O'Sullivan, who has been involved with the initiative since it began in 1999, and ICC Regional Performance Officer Philip Hudson. Two Europe-based coaches who will also work alongside the coaching team include former Ireland player and current Cricket Development Officer for the Northern Ireland Cricket Union Ryan Eagleson, who represented Ireland in several international tournaments including the Commonwealth Games; and Chris Minty, Director of Cricket for the Jersey Cricket Board and current manager of the Jersey national side.
The ICC European Centre of Excellence has for the past eleven years been an integral part of the Pepsi ICC Development Programme (Europe) and the results are starting to show with several of the alumni, including Daan van Bunge and Alexei Kervezee of the Netherlands, progressing on to play for their national sides. This year's event will take place from 9-15 of April 2009.Participants: