Ireland Women’s head coach Ed Joyce has had a challenging year as he completes one year as the coach of the Irish team. Joyce represented both Ireland and England, before retiring in 2018. He was then appointed as the interim coach in place of Aaron Hamilton and was finally made head coach after his good performance.
Joyce has had a tasking start to his Ireland coaching career as the team failed to qualify for the T20 World Cup. Ireland was looking to bounce back from the disappointing performance by qualifying for the 2021 World Cup, but the tournament was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s been a challenging year, for sure. The initial disappointment at not qualifying for the Women’s T20 World Cup quickly turned into intense planning and preparation for a big 2020. We had a tour to Thailand planned and we’re working on building a preparation program in the lead-up to the World Cup Qualifier initially set for July. Unfortunately, like everyone involved in world sport, the pandemic changed everything.” Joyce said.
Along with that Joyce had to deal with the departure of Kim Garth, who is the vice-captain and one of the most vital players to the Ireland women’s team. Garth signed a contract with the Australian side of Cricket Victoria.
Joyce addressed this saying “The recent confirmation that Kim Garth has accepted a two-year contract with Cricket Victoria and left the Irish set-up, for now, was a blow – there’s no denying that.
“We had hoped that she could have helped us through the qualifier in July before moving to Australia, but the postponement of the tournament ended that idea,” Joyce added.
Despite all the roadblocks, Joyce is still motivated to grow the sport of women’s cricket and achieve some success with the Ireland squad.
“Putting that aside, it is great the squad is back in training as of this month and we’re all enjoying the chance to get back into some sort of normality. The players have come through the lockdown in good shape and we are now turning our minds to what will hopefully be a rescheduled Qualifier in late 2020.”
Speaking on his time as Ireland coach, he said “For me, it has been an unusual first year in women’s cricket – we’ve not had any games for the best part of nine months for various reasons, but the challenge ahead is motivation enough for me. We have a great young crop of players ambitious to make their mark on international cricket, and with a world cup qualifier approaching, we have the tantalizing prospect of potentially qualifying for a World Cup and the ICC Women’s Championship in 2021.”
Cricket Ireland has now offered 11 non-retainer contracts, which include year-round medical and healthcare insurance, strength and conditioning support, nutrition and performance analysis, loss of earning for competition periods, and match fees for international matches. This is the mark of Cricket Ireland’s continuous push to promote women’s cricket.
Another great step by @Irelandcricket 👏
These contracts were offered to following players:
Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray and Louise McCarthy. pic.twitter.com/nIgzdX2uPk
— Female Cricket (@imfemalecricket) July 2, 2020
Eimear Richardson, Lara Maritz, Louise Little, Rebecca Stokell, Una Raymond-Hoey, Hannah Little, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray, Louise McCarthy are the players who have been offered the retainer contracts
The High-Performance Director for Cricket Ireland Richard Holdsworth, said: “We are pleased that we can further invest in the senior women’s squad through these new benefits contracts. Given the nature and profile of our players, we needed to provide a greater level of support and service to the fitness, health, conditioning, and, most important, access to services that they need year-round. The medical and healthcare coverage alone will provide some peace-of-mind to the squad, and we hope to continue to build on these in subsequent years.”