July 16, 2002

Vincent Barnes to coach SA 'A', SA Under 19 and Academy

UCB CEO Gerald Majola is proud to announce the appointment of Vincent Barnes as the coach for the SA 'A' and SA Under 19 teams, as well as of the Plascon Academy.

"The General Council of the UCB decided to elevate this position to ensure that the person who holds it will work very closely with the coaches in the national squad," said Majola today. "It will be Vincent's responsibility to ensure that players are constantly coming through the ranks and ready to take up places in the national squad. The UCB has embarked on a drive to keep the SA A team highly active and for this team to be a solid stepping stone into the national squad with as narrow a gap as possible between the two sides. Hylton Ackerman, who currently coaches the national Academy, and whose contract expires at the end of August, has made himself available to assist with our young players and I am happy to keep his expertise in South African cricket," Majola added.

Barnes (42) has coached in the Western Province system since 1995 when he started as a youth coach at the province. He has been coaching the provincial 'A' side with Eric Simons since the 1999/00 season. As a right-arm fast-medium bowler and right-hand batsman, Barnes represented the Western Province Cricket Board between 1977 and unity in 1991 and then played for the unified Western Province Cricket Association until his retirement in 1994.

"As far as the SA A side goes, I have spoken to (national coach) Eric Simons and will continue to work closely with him in building a strategy and level of cricket to make sure the players are ready at all times to make the step up to international cricket," Barnes said today. "The SA A team for me is about making sure the players are ready to take the opportunities that may come their way. At the Plascon Academy and in the Under 19 set-up, you have the chance as a coach to work with the best young players in the country. I have worked in both the national Academy (in 1998) and in the Under 19 team, so I have some ideas, but I will sit down with the UCB's Director of Coaching, Anton Ferreira to discuss strategies."

Barnes added: "I understand the magnitude of the job I have been appointed to do - it is quite a step up from provincial coaching. But it's a challenge I am ready for and I am really looking forward to it."

Barnes' appointment is effective from 1 September 2002.