The Northern Districts Cricket Association (ND) has announced that Women’s Head Coach Jo Broadbent will be stepping down from the role after four seasons and wish to thank her for the rich contribution she has made to the ND women’s programme and wider organisation.

Broadbent was initially brought in as the Assistant Coach alongside Head Coach Kari Carswell for the 2019/20 season, helping guide the Spirit (now Brave) to the Grand Final of the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield (the premier domestic women’s one-day competition in New Zealand), for the first time in the history of the competition.

Since then, she has taken the women’s game to another level, developing players and the team structure with a focus on athleticism and crucial technique.

GM Performance & Talent Ian Sandbrook acknowledges Broadbent’s work which will set the team up for future successes. “Through all her hard work we are now able to make further steps forward in our female programme” said Sandbrook.

Working with a coach of Broadbent’s calibre has also enriched the ND coaching staff across the board, with her experience and talent nurturing the likes of Daniel Flynn, who has just been announced as Assistant Coach for the ND Men’s side after working alongside Broadbent in the women’s programme as Assistant Coach for the 22/23 season.

“We are extremely grateful for the outstanding job she has done over the last 3 ½ years with the team” says Sandbrook. “There is no doubt that Jo leaves ND in a better position than she found it.”

Broadbent has enjoyed the challenges of developing more professional athletes for ND, noting: “The absolute highlights have been player achievements, including Halliday, Patel and Bezuidenhout reaching WHITE FERN level; Knight and Wakelin playing in the inaugural U19 World Cup; and Knight and Patel travelling to India with the NZC development team.”

“The biggest shift and highlight for me was the change in team culture, where we made progress forming stronger connections between players creating memorable experiences. The growth in understanding the game and applying their strengths improved dramatically during my term as Head Coach.”

“My motto still to this day, is that to be a better player you need to be a better teammate to build team’s success. Growing as a person is just as important as anyone’s cricket skills which is something we have encouraged with our whole group.”

“Thanks to all of the players and in particular, Brooke Halliday, Eimear Richardson, Samantha Barriball, Katie Gurrey, Lauren Heaps and Bernie Bezuidenhout for believing in what we were striving to do with this young group. To the many staff and management who held roles with the team during my tenure I thank you all for your support and guidance.”

Having strengthened the foundations for ND, Broadbent has her own impressive legacy in cricket, representing Australia in 10 Test Matches between 1990 and 1998, 60 One Day Internationals and receiving the Medal of the Order of Australia in the 2018 Queen’s Birthday Honours for service to cricket.

Broadbent’s departure leaves an exciting opportunity at ND, with the Head Coach role being redefined. Previously a seasonal appointment, the role will now become ‘Head Coach – Female Performance & Talent’, a full-time position that will lead the ND women’s domestic team but also have responsibilities working in the region’s female talent pathway and academies. More about the role can be found here

Sandbrook is excited by the scope of the new role. “This move will be critical in developing our best young female talent coming through the system, along with the key responsibility of developing a consistently performing team across all formats in domestic cricket.”