Wellington Firebirds assistant coach Lance Dry has been appointed the new Wellington Blaze head coach for the 2021/22 season.
Dry moves into the role after two years with the Wellington Firebirds and will be assisted by Firebirds legend Luke Woodcock who has been appointed as a specialist batting coach for the Blaze and the Cricket Wellington pathway players.
Dry’s appointment follows an impressive two years as Firebirds assistant coach where he ably assisted Glenn Pocknall and helped the side lift two Super Smash titles and the Plunket Shield.
The former Firebird and Eastern Suburbs stalwart said he was relishing the opportunity to progress his coaching career.
“This is a really exciting opportunity and it's a huge privilege to take on the head coach role of such a successful and talented side,” he said.
“I’ve been really lucky to be able to be a part of the Firebirds group and develop my coaching skills alongside Glenn (Pocknall) and I’m now looking forward to developing that knowledge in a head coach role.
“Ivan (Tissera) has done a fantastic job leading the Blaze, and women’s cricket in Wellington is very strong, so I’m excited to continue that good work and hopefully lead the Blaze to more success.”
Dry and Woodcock’s appointments follow the introduction of Cricket Wellington’s new high-performance coaching model aimed at providing Wellington’s elite cricketers with specialist coaches to achieve the organisation’s strategic objective of having more players representing New Zealand.
“We want to continue to produce more WHITE FERNS that are successful at international level,” said Cricket Wellington CEO Cam Mitchell.
“Lance and Luke’s appointments ensure we provide the Blaze with a well-resourced coaching team that is focused on developing the team, as well as talented individuals that have the best chance of success both at domestic and international level.
“Lance has proven himself as an exceptional leader both with his time at Eastern Suburbs and in the Firebirds environment.
“Luke is a Firebirds legend with a wealth of batting experience at the highest level, so his skillset and experience will be invaluable in the Blaze environment.”
Former Blaze head coach Ivan Tissera will continue as part of the Cricket Wellington coaching system.
Tissera has been appointed as Youth Development Coach – a critical role that aims to accelerate the talent of Wellington’s most promising cricketers.
“Ivan is one of the best youth coaches in the country and we want to focus his energies on the key phase of our best cricketer’s technical development,” said Mitchell.
“He has done an incredible job as head coach of the Blaze and we would like to thank him and Mohit (Rao) for all of their efforts in the past seasons.”
As Dry, Tissera and Woodcock are all former spin bowlers, they will also all share the responsibilities of the specialist spin bowling role originally outlined in the new high-performance coaching model.
A specialist pace bowling coach and Firebirds specialist batting coach will also be added to the coaching model and will be announced in due course.