Chris Laffan has taken on the reins as men’s coach of Craigieburn Cricket Club.
The club announced last week that Laffan would take over from Ian Blanchett, who is moving onto to a new club after two years in the role.
Blanchett coached the side to a Victorian Turf Cricket Association north-west A1 premiership last season, with Laffan part of that team.
Laffan, who has spent most of his cricket career at the Eagles besides a stint in Premier Cricket, has been part of the club’s last two first IX premierships.
He steps into the coaching role after previously being involved in coaching with the Eagles’ junior program and was an assistant coach with the senior side a few years back.
He has also coached North West Metropolitan Cricket Association junior representative sides., as well as teams at Assumption College and Kolbe Secondary College.
Laffan said Craigieburn senior role too good to refuse.
“Towards the end of last season, I decided that I wanted to branch out and coach next season,” he said.
“There was the opportunity to at Craigieburn and it was too good to refuse. I interviewed for the job and was lucky enough to get it.”
Laffan said the club was looking to build on the foundations laid during their premiership campaign. He said at this stage most of the premiership side was returning.
“We put together some talent last season,” he said.
“Getting Brodie Warren and Sammy [Laffan] on board definitely helped to get us over the line … there’s good signs for the future.
“Both of them have now had a season getting used to playing local cricket, having come back from Premier Cricket.
“I’d like to add a couple more players as well.”
Meanwhile, Chris Barton has been appointed the Craigieburn women’s coach.
Barton was assistant coach for the last two seasons and took on coaching the side last season when coach David Woodgate became sick. Woodgate died earlier this year.
Barton has been involved at Craigieburn for the last 30 years as a coach, president and committee member.
Barton, who has spent a large chunk of his cricket career as an umpire as well, said taking over the role was a continuation of what he’d done last season and Woodgate before him.
It was by luck he got involved with coaching the women’s side in the first place.
“I had come back to the club to try and get my fitness back,” he said.
“I’d been at the nets bowling and I saw the girls were struggling for numbers. Having known David for a number of years, I asked if I could help out.
“I just continued to help out and now progressed to the position I find myself in now.”
Barton said the focus would be on ensuring every player could get the most out of themselves.
With the club having only one women’s side, there are big differences in skill levels among the players.
“I’ve been trying to get them to understand techniques and roles that will put them in good stead if they want to try for higher grades,” Barton said
He said that next season, the club would be were pushing to have junior girl’s sides.