Matt Thompson – Head of Talent Pathway at Cricket Wales
Having been fortunate enough to have experienced most stages of the player pathway – stumbling at the professional hurdle – being in a position to positively impact young cricketers journeys is a hugely rewarding task. Whilst I still remain fiercely loyal to Devon and The Rec, it’s been almost 10 years since I arrived in Wales and so it’s a case of seeing Welsh Cricket as home also.
As Cricket Wales’ Head of the Talent Pathway my role encompasses a wide array of responsibilities, from age group cricket and close workings with Glamorgan CCC, to the regional programme spanning the entire country and the coach development that runs after formalised coach education courses. More recently I am also responsible for the Disability Cricket team and its operations which will be an exciting challenge as we look to enhance its profile even further.
We work extensively with Glamorgan, the ECB and Sport Wales to ensure we have the right governance, strategy and pieces in place to ensure we give our youngsters the very best platform to progress to the highest level, but to also fall in love, and stay in love with the game. We all acutely aware that 99% of young boys and girls will never make cricket their profession, but ultimately it’s not about that. It’s about whether they continue to be invested in cricket for the rest of their lives, whether that be as a club 2nd XI player, an umpire or a club member. That is just as successful in many ways as someone going on to play for England.
It goes without saying that the cricket network is unique in its being; we have so many people that willingly dedicate significant time to making the development of cricket a success. I can think of many within the confines of Torquay CC let alone anywhere else. Without a doubt these people shaped my philosophy on cricket and made me want to give something back to the game that has provided me with some of the best memories, friends and experiences in my career. Torquay CC will always be my hometown club and it has a lot of good things in place to ensure it continues to be an attractive place to play for cricketers in South Devon. I wish all teams the a great 2020 season and hope that the club can continue to push itself back to where it belongs in the Premier Division.