Curtis Jackson named Southampton Rangers senior cricket coach
Curtis Jackson admits the decision to take over coaching duties of Southampton Rangers senior cricket team was not an easy one to make.
The former Rangers and Cleveland batsman had other plans in mind and gave the matter plenty of thought after being offered the position.
“It was a bit difficult as I wasn’t planning on doing any coaching at all, period, at the senior level,” Jackson told The Royal Gazette.
“What I really wanted to do is take my cooler and my chair and enjoy some cricket on the weekend if I am not working. That was my plan, but I was approached a few months ago and gave it some thought, and at the last minute gave them my decision.”
Rangers announced the 56-year-old’s appointment on Thursday, ending weeks of speculation over who would succeed Jackson’s predecessor and former team-mate, Janeiro Tucker, whose contract expired at the end of last season and was not renewed.
“The Southampton Rangers family welcomes Curtis Jackson back to the club and look forward to the exciting times ahead,” read a club statement.
Jackson has already enjoyed success as a coach having led Cleveland to Eastern Counties glory and promotion to the Premier Division, and also taking Western Stars to promotion and the Central Counties title. He is also a former Bermuda Cricket Board First Division Coach of the Year Award recipient.
The former Bermuda and Somerset Cup Match player has inherited a Rangers team which is going through a rebuilding phase after the departure of former player-coach Tucker and seamer Nirobi Smith-Mills who have both joined Somerset.
“Rangers are in the process of rebuilding and I am always excited about a new challenge,” Jackson added.
“My expectations are to help the club rebuild and to be as competitive as possible. I expect for the team to do the best they can do, and just want them to be able to compete and stick together as a team.”
The club’s executive is also up for the challenge of rebuilding the senior cricket programme.
“We at Southampton Rangers are thrilled for the challenge of rebuilding our cricket team with notable departures and retirements,” the club statement continued.
“The executive and fans would like to thank those senior members for their years of dedicated service to the club and wish them the best going forward.
“Special thanks to our title sponsors, Brangman Electrical and Island Construction Services for their continued support for our programme.”
Rangers retained their Premier Division status in the 50-over competition last season but were relegated to the First Division in the T20 format. While coaching is his main priority, Jackson is also prepared to offer his services out in the middle come game day if necessary.
“I am not looking to play but if there’s a case or time where I have to play, then I will,” he said.
“I do try to keep myself in good shape but I am not looking to play every weekend, I am not about doing that.”
Jackson will be doing a juggling act as he intends to continue coaching Cleveland’s youth teams.
“I am coaching Cleveland at the junior level and I am going to stay there because I have been doing that for the last ten years,” he added.
As well as rebuilding their senior programme, Rangers have also gone to considerable lengths to relaunch their youth programme under the direction of former players Olin Jones and Ryan Belboda.
“The executive understand that in order to sustain our cricket programme it is important that we ensure the next generation of cricketers receive that vital foundation,” the club statement said.
“Any persons interested in registering their young athletes for the youth programme can do so by e-mailing Southamptonrangers.com or by visiting the BCB website for further information.”
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