Aiming for the top

2013-09-12 00:00

A NEW season sees a new coach at Pinetown Cricket Club. Barry Dyer (25) is taking over from Gary Glisson, who has emigrated to Australia.

A former Pinetown Boys’ High School pupil, Dyer played for two-and-a-half years in the school’s first team and has been playing at Pinetown CC for seven years.

“I was originally a quick bowler but have changed to left-arm orthodox spin,” he said. “I decided to give spin a try as I needed to do something different with my game. At the time, we had plenty of left-arm seamers at the club and in hindsight, it was a worthwhile change.”

Dyer has played most of his cricket for the club’s second side, filling in when needed for the firsts. He is internationally qualified as a strength and conditioning coach, and had assisted Glisson with fitness and warm-up routines.

“It was a natural progression for me to step into the role as I suppose I was the next in line,” said Dyer.

“We have a new committee for the coming season and I am in charge of playing affairs as far as the seniors at the club are concerned.”

Coaching is not new to Dyer and while he is a Level 1 coach, he hopes to upgrade to Level 2, through the KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union, by the end of the season.

“Since leaving school, I have been involved in coaching, primarily at schools,” he said. “I have coached at Pinetown Boys’ School, Northdene Prep School and for two years I was in charge of Thomas More’s first team.”

Playing in the Challenge League after dropping out of the Premier League last season, there’s no prizes for guessing Dyer’s goal for this season.

“With the squad we have, I believe we can win the Challenge League and return to the Premier League,” he said.

“When we dropped down last season, the club expected a huge exodus of players, but the core group has remained loyal. Some players have moved on, but for every one we lose, there are two ready to join.”

At the weekend, Dyer had the opportunity to watch some players in a friendly clash against Railways in Tongaat.

“Our batsmen looked strong at the top of the order, while the bowlers generated good pace on a tricky wicket,” he said. “Everyone looked a tad rusty after a few months off, but the positive signs were there. We have some talented schoolboys joining the club and they are always worth nurturing to take the club forward.”

Dyer has just completed his Masters degree in sport science on UKZN’s Westville campus. He is waiting for the results of his thesis and works as a research assistant in the Sport Science Department on campus.

“I help with laboratory fitness tests and research for athletes. I also lecture and tutor on the subject part-time.”

With these credentials, one thing is a certainty at Pinetown CC this season —  they will definitely be a fit side after Dyer has fine-tuned them in the coming months.

Chatting to Dyer at the club’s headquarters at Lahee Park in Pinetown, it was encouraging to see work being done on the pitch and the grass being cut on the banks and around the nets. The surroundings looked clean and the sightscreens were also in good shape.

“It’s encouraging to see the municipality working with us as a club to get the important things done before the season kicks in,” said Dyer.

“It gives our club a good image and creates an encouraging impression for players wanting to sign up.”

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