As the Women and Girls County Age Group and recreational offer continues to grow across Gloucestershire, a familiar face in Fran Wilson has made a welcome return.
Fran an ECB Level 3 Coach, who is currently applying to be on the Level 4 Specialist Coach Qualification, is part of an experienced team of coaches who work with 13 girls across our EPP Programme, on a Monday and Wednesday evening at Colston’s School and Hartpury College.
When Fran retired from England Cricket and decided to make her move back to the South West, it was the perfect opportunity for both Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation and Fran to once again work together in creating excellent opportunities for the young ladies within the pathway. Fran said:
“It has been amazing to return to Gloucestershire as a coach on the girls EPP. It is a pathway that deeply cares about the Women and Girls game – from grass roots to the County Women’s team. It is a culture I have loved being a part of.”
As our U18’s head to Sri Lanka on tour in February the touring team has also been bolstered by Fran’s presence, with Mollie Robbins and Fran in attendance having two Western Storm senior players travel with the young squad provides fantastic experience and support. In preparation for the tour Fran continued to say:
“It has been extra exciting as we work towards the tour of Sri Lanka, one of my favourite places to play cricket. Being part of the tour as a coach will be a fantastic experience. I hope I can help to support the girls through the challenges, they will inevitably face, playing in the sub-continent.”
In addition to Fran returning to Gloucestershire to aid the development of the young talent that continues to emerge from the pathway, we are delighted that Fran will be playing her County Cricket for Gloucestershire this summer. Fran reflected on past experiences with Gloucestershire which made it a straightforward decision to return:
“I have always had great experiences with Gloucestershire Cricket Board (now the Foundation) as a coach and as a player, playing in the county has always been a highlight. I can’t wait to play my cricket here and represent the County on the pitch this season.”
Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation’s Women and Girls Development Officer Laura Charles-Price, spoke of her delight at Fran’s return:
“Having Fran as part of our coaching team is fantastic, someone of Fran’s calibre and experience doesn’t come around very often, when we spoke initially of her plans to return and the start of our Girls only EPP Programme, it was the perfect fit and the perfect timing.
Fran offers a wealth of experience in terms of the physical and mental demands of elite sport, something that our pathway girls hugely benefit from, it also offers our existing coaches a unique insight into coaching methods that Fran has been exposed to during her England career.”
Under the new banner of the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation, the support that the County Women and Girls County Age Group Pathway receive will continue to grow.