England’s limited overs captain Eoin Morgan hopes that his cricket will benefit from qualifying as a Level Two coach after an intensive course that designed by the Professional Cricketers’ Association for professional players.
A Level Two course normally takes several weeks to complete but the course that Morgan attended at Finchley was reduced to one week to take into account prior knowledge in certain areas as a professional player.
The course allowed Morgan and England all-rounder Chris Woakes to find time to gain coaching qualifications in their busy schedule before they departed for the One Day International and T20 series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates.
“I think the opportunity created by the PCA and the ECB for guys who have such a hectic schedule is a great opportunity for the younger guys particularly to take on board,” Morgan said.
“It’s a qualification that all of us as professional cricketers should have. You learn so much about your game, gain a broader knowledge of not only the standard you play but also people who have played below and above you. I think that’s crucial in your progression as a cricketer.
“I’m in a very fortunate position along with around 10% of the guys who actually go through this process who have played professional cricket. A lot of guys who haven’t had the opportunity and cricket hasn’t treated them this well would be great coaches so this creates that opportunity to see if they enjoy it and if they are any good at it.
“For me coaching is something I enjoy, but I haven’t had the chance to get the qualifications so this is what the week is about and I really enjoyed it.”
The costs of the course at Finchley were covered by the PCA and allowed Morgan, Woakes and other past and present players who attended including Monty Panesar, former Kent batsman Graham Cowdrey and the Middlesex quartet of Ollie Rayner, John Simpson, Nick Gubbins and Ryan Higgins to gain the qualification.
“I think it is crucial to emphasise that because, initially, some of the guys on the course might not have thought it was worth the money or were worried they may not use the qualification. The PCA have been brilliant, though, in funding the entire course which is fantastic,” Morgan said.
“It takes away the question of will you use it down the line and it’s an easier decision to do this, enjoy it and commit to it 100% because the chances are this will create an opportunity down the line for you when you finish cricket to coach your local club, an academy and from there it is great to keep players within the game.
“I believe we lose too many players to other businesses and industries who have very valuable knowledge and I think to give back, especially to younger generations and second teams is huge, given that cricket has given me so much.”
Dave Townsend, one of the PCA’s team of Personal Development and Welfare Managers, was responsible for devising the week-long course which was run by coaches Richard Hall and Phil Knappett.
“We wanted to create a Level Two course that took into account some prior learning from the professionals so that they could achieve the qualification within a week rather than over several weeks,” Townsend said.
“To do this we worked with the presenters and the ECB to create a course outline that was accredited and then with Middlesex CCC to run the course at their Finchley Indoor School.
“The course was a great success with some outstanding ideas being thrown around and coaching of the highest quality. The players really enjoyed hearing new ideas and seeing different ways of coaching certain skills and I know that it was also really good for the course presenters who were able to see things coached in a way that they may not have seen before.”