Smith handed two-year extension
Clay Smith has been given a two-year extension to his contract as Bermuda coach, and will also lead the Under-19 side for their regional qualifiers in Canada in July.
Smith, who recently stood down as coach of Cleveland, will see his new contract take him past the next ICC World Cricket League Division Four Tournament. For the next five months he will also serve as interim national Under-19 coach in the lead-up to the ICC regional qualifier this summer.
“I just found that last year was very challenging, I didn't feel I gave Cleveland their due timewise, so felt it was best to give somebody else a chance,” Smith said yesterday.
“This year taking on the Under-19s is an added challenge so I felt timewise it was possible to give Cleveland an honest day's work. I'm looking forward to the challenge, we're sitting down now to see how we're going to make it all work.
“It's a quiet year for the seniors but we still want to keep them going and we're looking at the options of possible tours at the end of summer for the senior team just so that we can keep them playing against international opposition.po. It's going to be very challenging but I'm looking forward to it.”
The Under-19s will play Canada and the United States twice in Canada in a round robin tournament with the winners going on to the World Cup. “We do want to tap into some schools like CedarBridge, Berkeley, Warwick Academy and Bermuda Institute for some talent that we may have missed, but we do have a base squad,” Smith said. “It's definitely a huge opportunity for the youngsters, four games and they could be into the World Cup. I'm sure they are up for it. Looking at the squad it is a very young squad with most of these guys, with the exception of five of six, being able to compete in the next World Cup when it comes around.”
Gershon Gibbons, chairman of the BCB High Performance committee stated: “The BCB High Performance committee conducted an extensive post-mortem and review of the performance of Clay Smith and the associated coaching staff during their tenure last year. This process led the Committee to the unanimous view that the programme has been moving in a very positive direction which needs to be continued.
“The squad has many young players and we are committed to helping them improve our senior team international ranking. The senior squad training programme takes a holistic view of the athlete by incorporating skill development, physical conditioning, and tactical awareness in addition to mental skills. Engagement with our community is also an important aspect of being in the Bermuda national squad.”
Gibbons added: “The Under-19 tournament is a great opportunity for Bermuda to return to the world stage as the winner automatically qualifies for the Under-19 World Cup. The High Performance committee has asked Clay to prepare this group of players under their direction on an interim basis with a view to making a separate appointment for this post for two years subsequent to the tournament.”