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Clay Smith quits as coach

St George's and Bermuda have been dealt a heavy blow with the resignation of cricket coach Clay Smith.

The former Bermuda skipper has resigned from all coaching duties at both club and national youth levels, citing mental and physical fatigue and lack of motivation as the reasons behind his decision.

“I have been playing for 26 years and coaching for the last ten and I clearly do not have the zest I used to have,” he told The Royal Gazette.

“I have resigned as coach at St George's and also coaching duties with Bermuda. I am just mentally and physically drained and in need of some much needed rest away from the game.

“I lack motivation and the passion that is needed to be a good effective coach as I am running on empty.”

“I am looking to make a clean break from cricket and build my appetite back up. I won't coach if I can only give 50 percent of myself.”

Smith has enjoyed the past three years coaching St George's and hasn't ruled out returning to Wellington Oval to coach his childhood club in the future.

“I do one day hope to return to St George's and coach again as I have unfinished business there,” he said. “The players showed me the utmost respect and I look forward to working with them again in the future.”

Smith's shock resignation arrives on the heels of a bitter -sweet 2011 campaign which saw the East Enders win Cup Match but then get relegated from the Premier 50 Over League.

“It saddens me to leave St George's on this note but for now I have done all I can at my club,” he said.

Smith has recommended that either elder sibling Wendell or childhood friend Dean Minors take over coaching duties at St George's in his absence.

His brother, the first batsman to score 1,000 runs in Cup Match, coached St David's to the Premier 50 Over championship this year.

“I think they have what it takes to coach St George's, trust me, not anybody can coach there,” Smith said.

While he is away from the game the former St George's skipper plans to channel most of energy towards helping his three children fulfill their ambitions.

“My kids, Clay, Jonte and Hailey, are all in crucial stages of their lives and my support as a father needs to be there to assure they reach their goals,” he said. “Right now I want to channel all my energy towards my children's education and future.”

Smith also hasn't ruled out serving in an administrative capacity at national level.

“I may tackle cricket from a different angle and try my hand in administration, but we will see,” he said. I still have a lot to offer Bermuda cricket.”

Earlier this week Smith brought the curtains down on his playing career after helping Bermuda's 2007 World Cup squad beat the visiting MCC at Somerset Cricket Club, the venue where he became the first batsman to score three centuries in Cup Match in 2004.

“The feeling of beating MCC was awesome,” he said. “For me it was a great send off as that was officially my last game on local soil, apart from maybe exhibition matches.”

Taking a breather: Clay Smith has put his coaching career on the backburner. Photo by Glenn Tucker

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Published September 29, 2011 at 10:00 am (Updated September 29, 2011 at 10:29 am)

Clay Smith quits as coach

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