Northland's oldest cricket club has found another exciting way to mark its upcoming 75th Jubilee by hiring former test player Brendon Bracewell to take it into the future.
City Cricket Club has announced Bracewell as its new head coach and the former New Zealand fast bowler is thrilled to be linking up with the club at its iconic Cobham Oval headquarters in Whangārei.
A member of one of New Zealand's most accomplished cricketing families, Bracewell made his test debut on the 1978 tour of England when he was just 18 years old, and went on to represent Northern Districts, Central Districts and Otago in a 13-year career.
Like all three of his brothers — Doug, Mark and ex-Black Caps coach John - he went on to give back to the game as a cricket coach and sees his appointment at City as a natural fit at the hub of a region that's close to his cricketing heart.
"I played a few games for Northland and ND at the 'old Cobham Oval', before the club moved, which is probably showing my age a bit,'' Bracewell said
"City was always a really strong contributor to cricket in the region and it's really impressive now when you come to the present-day Cobham Oval and see just how far it has come. Not many clubs can say their home field is an international ground, and I think it's a real testament to the generations of club people who have chipped away on behalf of the club over the years — to see where it is today and what it provides for kids as well as senior cricketers around Whangārei is really inspiring."
Bracewell has previously run coaching academies in Hawke's Bay and the Bay of Plenty, where he worked with a young Kane Williamson, Trent Boult and his son Doug (not to be confused with his brother of the same name) who all went on to become Black Caps themselves.
He will begin his tenure with City this month and has a strong desire to grow and develop players through sport, particularly youth.
City Cricket Club president Dean Robinson said it was an honour to have a mentor with Bracewell's expertise and experience available to its members, with an indoor winter training programme kicking off this month.
"The 2021/22 season is a really special one for us with our 75th Jubilee celebrations coming up in October, so it's a great time right now to get involved with City cricket," said Robinson.
"We're calling for registrations for Brendon's indoor programmes that will lead us smoothly into the preseason. These are available for both young or experienced cricketers, male and female. And, if you are new to the game, or looking to learn, it's a really great opportunity to learn from one of the best."
City's 75th Jubilee celebrations will be taking place across three days on Labour weekend, with the Bruce Marshall Memorial Golf Tournament at Mt Denby Whangārei Golf Club on October 22, followed by a series of matches and activities at the cricket club, culminating in a gala dinner on October 24.
To register for any of these events or to sign on for Brendon Bracewell's coaching, visit citycricketclub.co.nz or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
■ Brendon Bracewell played six tests for New Zealand, taking 14 wickets, between his first test against England in July 1978 and his last against Pakistan in February 1985. He also played a sole One Day International against England in 1978.