Ahead of Germany’s training camp in Husum this week, the team’s new assistant coach, Jason Walsh, has taken time out to chat to cricket.de.
The 43-year-old is new to the German cricket scene, but has already been turning heads this season after winning the inaugural DCB Super Series with his team, the Western Eagles. His coaching style on the sidelines has stood out as being both very active and vocal, but also good-natured.
„Coaching requires a good knowledge of the game, obviously, but you have to be able to get the best out of players,“ Walsh says, explaining his success with the Western Eagles this season.
„I enjoy having that relationship with young cricketers and helping them understand their goals and how they can work together. Some of the Eagles players really responded well to that this season.“
A handy batsman too
While he admits that „coaching is now a passion,“ the former 1st grade New Zealand batsman is not afraid to don the pads and helmet and face up to some fast bowling – just to make a point to his young chargers. It all helps with the interaction with the players, he says.
„Being able to communicate with young guys from different cultures, without rubbing in the Australian and New Zealand cricket approach, is really important.“
„You have to respect where they are coming from, and what they have been through.“
While Walsh seems to have now found his calling helping Germany’s top male cricketers, his first sport growing up in New Zealand was, in fact, rugby union.
„Actually, I was probably better at rugby, but I was just too small,“ the towering All Blacks fan says, smiling broadly. „It’s kind of scary when you think about it.“
The national team and beyond
Walsh – who started cricket coaching at the young age of 18 and has worked as a club coaching director in NZ too – has now been given the opportunity to help the Germany team. He’s confident that the players have what it takes to rise back out of European Division 3.
„We have to get Germany playing at the highest level we can,“ Walsh says. „There are certainly enough skilled cricket players in Germany to put together a very solid cricket team.“
„The step up to the next level is tough, but the national team is more than capable of doing that.“
Walsh believes that an important part of the process is improving the transparency of the national team, the Super Series and the club teams across Germany. Each level plays a role in the success at the top, he says.
„Whether Germany can push beyond Europe, and be playing teams like the UAE in the near future, that will be a big ask,“ Walsh says. „That may come down to funding, and how it can be used to maintain the standards that are starting to develop in the Super Series right now.“
In the short term, Walsh will help national team coach Steven Knox as the team trains and plays games against Denmark in Husum this week. Updates from the tour and the matches will be posted at cricket.de, and on DCB’s social media channels.