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Coach Smith parts ways with Cleveland

End of an era: Clay Smith has taken on a wider berth at the Bermuda Cricket Board

Clay Smith’s two-year stint as coach of Premier Division cricket side Cleveland County has come to an end.

Carlton Smith, the Cleveland president, confirmed that Smith has opted not to stay on beyond his contract that expired at the end of last season.

He said the former Bermuda captain had notified the club on Monday that he was no longer able to continue as Cleveland’s coach after taking the reins of the Bermuda Under-19 side, as well as continuing his coaching duties with the senior team.

“We spoke on Monday and Clay said he has taken on the under-19 side and so he basically doesn’t have any time,” the former Cleveland batsman said.

“It’s sad that we have to look for another coach and I was a little upset when he told me, but I expected that based on discussions we had over the possibility of him taking on the under-19 side. At the last cricket meeting we had weeks ago I told the committee that we had to wait and see what Clay had to say and then go from there.”

Smith said that he hopes to have a successor in place by the end of the month.

“We are in the process now of seeing who we can get and we are even talking with some players that are interested in coming back,” he said.

“We’re hoping to have a new coach in place by the end of February.”

Smith kept his cards close to his chest when probed on the candidates that have shown an interest.

“The options out there are limited but a few people are interested,” he said. “The other coaches that are interested are good quality who I know personally and we’ll see who we come up with.”

Clay Smith enjoyed a highly successful coaching stint at the Harris Bay club who he led to a first Eastern Counties triumph in 33 years, as well as a maiden Champion of Champions title.

“I hold Clay in high regard,” Smith said.

“He coached me for three years during his first stint at Cleveland so I knew what he brought to the table.

“He achieved his goal with us. When we brought him on board three seasons ago our goal was to win the Eastern Counties and we achieved that and won Champion of Champions.

“It was a successful coaching stint and I wouldn’t count him out for in the future.”

Cleveland were dethroned as Eastern Counties champions and avoided relegation after beating St George’s in a promotion/relegation play-off match last season.