The club is very excited to announce the appointment of Chris Williams as Senior Head Coach for season 2016/17. Chris last played for the club in 2012 and returns to East after four years at Geelong Cricket Club, having also played overseas in the UK. Having gained such valuable experience, we are thrilled to have him back at the Lion’s Den, where we are certain that his leadership, not to mention his significant talent as a legspinner will help not only our 1st XI, but the entire club to take the vital next step forward from an onfield capacity.
Chris will partner with Sean O’Neill, who has been reappointed as 1st XI captain for the coming season, and the two of them will together set the tone from a leadership point of view as we aim to capitalise on the considerable talent of our playing group by bringing home some silverware following the missed opportunities of the past couple of seasons. With Chris aged just 26 and Sean 28, they represent the youngest captain/coach combination in the club’s history, and we see both of their appointments as being very much forward looking and youth oriented, with an eye firmly focussed on ensuring we remain a benchmark in Geelong cricket not just for the immediate future, but for many years to come.
Chris takes over the coaching reigns from club legend Peter Quick, who occupied the helm for the past five years, during what was a period of significant onfield success for the club. In addition to the crowning achievement of the 2012/13 1st XI premiership, Quicky’s tenure as head coach also produced three Club Championships, four GCA T20 titles, a statewide T20 title, and four lower grade premierships. We would like to issue a heartfelt thanks to Quicky for all of his very considerable hard work over the past five years, and are very pleased to announce that he will still be involved in a very key capacity at the club, as the co-ordinator of our newly unveiled Youth Development Squad. Assisting Quicky in this very vital role will be Peter Caulfield, Damian Fiolet, Matt Lineker and Grant Ward, as we seek to nurture and develop our home grown junior talent while strengthening the connection between the junior and senior sections of the club.
Rounding out our list of club appointments is the news that Tim Warburton has been appointed 2nd XI captain for the coming season. Tim will assume leadership of the 2nds following Grant Ward’s four years as skipper. Tim is a product of our junior program, and is a veteran of our turf set up. His appointment as captain is a deserved reward for his efforts as a player over many years, as well as an indication of his growing stature as a leader at the club. We anticipate that Tim’s captaincy will be marked by a significant emphasis on the promotion and development of young talent, and will play a vital role in the overall long term strategy of the club.
Congratulations to all on their appointments for the coming season, and we wish you all the best of luck in your respective roles. With a clear, youth oriented, long term vision for the success of the club, it should be abundantly clear that there has never been a more exciting time to be a Lion. 2016/17 cannot come soon enough!