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Former Ulster coach Neil Doak out to help young Lisburn CC stars fulfil their potential

 

By David Mohan

Thirty years after making his senior league debut, Neil Doak, the former Ulster Rugby head coach, has been appointed the new head coach at Lisburn Cricket Club.

Officials at Wallace Park announced his appointment as they confirmed a continuing sponsorship agreement with McLean Bookmakers.

Doak (45) left Ulster Rugby earlier this year after serving for a decade in a variety of roles at Kingspan Stadium. He is now involved with rugby at Queen's University and Campbell College.

But next summer he will be in charge of cricket coaching at Lisburn in a bid to get the club back into the Premier League.

A spokesman said they were delighted to have him as their new head coach at a club where he made his senior debut as a 15-year-old.

"He is an extremely talented coach and motivator and is hugely respected at Lisburn. He is the ideal appointment to maximise the talent at the club and we look forward to working with him," he said.

Doak won 32 Irish caps as a free-scoring batsman and good off-spinner. He spent the winter of 1992-93 in Cape Town playing with the Bellville club.

Doak played scrum-half with four Ulster clubs and won 76 interprovincial caps. He was on the bench for Ireland against Fiji in 1995 as well as being part of Eddie O'Sullivan's World Cup squad in Australia in 2003, narrowly missing out on an international cap.

For many years Lisburn recruited overseas professionals to take charge of coaching, but with Doak free during the summer months, the club decided the time was right to appoint one of their legendary players to a key position.

The spokesman added: "With so many young and up and coming players at the club looking to make their mark, there is no person better qualified than Neil to help them achieve their full potential."

This is the third year that McLean Bookmakers, who have more than 60 shops, including two in the Lisburn area, have been involved with the club.

Managing director Paul McLean, who presented the former Lisburn chairman Dean Simpson with a new sponsorship cheque, said: "The appointment of Neil Doak is a massive boost.

"Lisburn Cricket Club is part of his DNA and hopefully they can look forward to a great season," he added.

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