Gavin Rogers is better known as a cricket coach but he has taken up a new post with North Down hockey club who are in Kirk Cup action at Mossley on Saturday.
The North Down and Northern Knights cricket boss will be assisting the Comber side’s coach Aaron Mills who is glad to have him on board.
Rogers is a former North Down player and he says he is looking forward to his new post which is slightly unusual in hockey circles.
“It’s a man-management type of role and I will be addressing the players as a group and on an individual basis whenever necessary and, of course, listening to them as well.” he explained.
“But I will also be involved in a more conventional role as assistant to Aaron and I am looking forward to it.”
Mills makes it clear that he is glad to have the South African in tow although he has been given the weekend off to catch up with work commitments after a busy cricket season.
“Put it this way, I know what I want to say but Gavin is probably better at saying it and he has great communication skills.” said Aaron.
“We’ve a biggish squad of 18 or 19 and I can’t do everything so it’s good to have Gavin alongside me.
“He’s good at the psychological side of things like goal-setting although, at this stage of the season, that’s yet to happen.
“It’s literally a case of one game at a time at the moment and our focus is on the Mossley match for now.
“They were the Premier League team last season while we were playing in Senior One so there will be no pressure on us.”
North Down lost 4-2 to Kilkeel last weekend and Mills was reasonably happy at his team’s display on their return to the top flight.
“We played okay and they were second behind Instonians last season if you take away the big four clubs who are now in the IHL so if you can ever be happy with a defeat I felt that way.”
Inst, who are hot favourites to lift the Kirk Cup have a day off tomorrow, leaving South Antrim’s game with Newry the only fixture in Pool A following Civil Service’s midweek 5-2 win over Portadown.
In North Down’s section, the other game sees Harlequins hosting Raphoe at Deramore. while there is also a full programme of fixtures in the Linden Cup.