Flack to take over Suffolk coaching role

BOBBY Flack is to be the new coach to Suffolk’s Minor Counties side this season.

The former Suffolk player is to take over part of the role vacated by Kevin Brooks, who announced at the start of last month that he was standing down as the county’s director of cricket.

Flack, who played for Suffolk for around eight seasons after making his debut in 1964, is the only Level 4 coach in the whole of the county.

He has been Suffolk’s director of youth coaching for several years, helping to provide a clear pathway for young cricketers in the county to progress.

Flack has overseen the development of youngsters such as all-rounder Josh Davey, who is currently at Middlesex, fast bowler Tymal Mills, who is with the Essex Academy, and batsman Sasha Ward, who made his debut for the full Suffolk side at the age of 17 last season.

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It is likely that Flack, who did not wish to be drawn on his actual age, will be officially appointed as head coach as part of a reshuffle which will be confirmed at the county’s annual meeting later this month.

Flack, who will work closely with skipper Justin Bishop, said: “I am very excited and looking forward to the challenge ahead. Justin and I have got some fairly clear plans on where we wish to go.

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“You can’t replace Kevin Brooks, who did a wonderful job for Suffolk over a number of years, but we will be looking to keep what he achieved going and try to build on it.”

Flack is well known to members of the Suffolk side, several of whom play their club cricket for Bury St Edmunds, where he has held most posts during his long association with the club and is still involved in coaching the 1st XI.

He said one of the biggest challenges the county faces is to continue fielding a competitive side with nine players aged 26 or under, in order to receive the maximum financial reward offered by the ECB for so doing.

This may mean greater opportunities for members of the county’s Development XI, which two years ago effectively became an under-19 side, and last year fielded six under-17 players, to step up to the full side.

Bishop, who missed most of last season – his second as captain – with a knee injury, said: “I wanted to bring in someone to work alongside me on match days who I know well and trust.

“Age doesn’t come into it. There are not many Level 4 coaches in the country and not only is Bobby one of those but he is also a good organiser and motivator. He knows a lot of the players already and hopefully it will be a smooth transition.”

It is expected that Kevin Brooks, who decided to stand down as the county’s director of cricket at the start of this year, will continue to be involved with Suffolk in a scouting capacity.

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