“Sid” delighted with his new role
It was announced this week that Somerset Cricket Board have appointed Paul Lawrence to the role of Women and Girls Performance Coach.
Affectionately know around the County Ground as “Sid” he has been working with the England Women’s U19 and U15 squads for the past two years since relinquishing his role as head coach of the Gibraltar cricket team. He is no stranger to the County having coached on the Somerset girls’ Emerging Player Programme (EPP) for three years. He also headed up the U17 coaching for five years.
On taking up the role he said: “It’s always been an ambition of mine to be involved with the senior women’s side on a permanent basis. I was involved with the squad last year when they needed cover so to work with them again is really exciting especially following last seasons promotion to Division One. I’m looking forward to being able to work with the team over a sustained period of time. We don’t just want to be in Division One, we want to show everyone that the team deserves to be there on merit and can compete. There is a lot of potential in the squad. Anya Shrubsole is one of the best players out there and the likes of Sophie Luff have been performing really well. It’s also possible that Fran Wilson may be returning from Middlesex so there is going to be good depth to the squad.”
Paul’s new role is not solely about the Somerset Women’s first XI as he explains: “We have to get things right at district level. It’s vital that we are getting girls in to the game at a young age and are getting them in to the County age group programmes. If we don’t get that right, there won’t be any competition for places in the first XI. My predecessor Caroline Foster did a fantastic job of putting all the programmes in place and I hope that I can build on that.”
Paul is keen to utilise the fact that the popularity of women’s cricket is at an all time high. “The success that the England side have had over a sustained period along with the popularity of this years Women’s Ashes series has been a fantastic advertisement for the game and has attracted a lot of players to the sport. There is definitely an appetite for the women’s game in Somerset as we saw at the Ashes launch event at the County Ground in July. In what other sport could you see two opposition teams coming together on the outfield helping youngsters getting involved in improving their skills? It was just brilliant.”