DUNFERMLINE and Carnegie Cricket Club will have a new head coach for the 2024 season.

South African off-spinner, Patrick Couper, better known as Paddy, joined the McKane Park club last season but missed most of it through an injured shoulder that he sustained during a match in May.

He had a watching brief for the remainder of the campaign but is confident that there is plent of talent at the club that can take them forward next year and attempt to return to national league cricket, having last played at that level 12 years ago.

Last term the Dunfermline and Carnegie first team finished third in the East of Scotland Cricket Association League, Division Two, while the second string won Division Six, and the newly created third team won a number of matches in Division Eight.

Having been involved in coaching from a very early age, Paddy was delighted to be asked by the Dunfermline and Carnegie committee to become head coach, with Steve Rowley, who has been in the role for the past three seasons, set to work alongside him.

At just 16, Paddy, now 38, first became a coach and was involved in developing one of the current South African stars in their test and one day squads, Quinton de Kock, at Randburg Cricket Club.

In 2014 he became the deputy head coach, of Randburg, with the club growing to over 400 members and being recognised as the best Junior Development Club in South Africa.

Over the following five years, Paddy successfully managed the under-18, under-15 and under-13 teams in the club, to success in many local and international tournaments, before being appointed Randburg head coach in 2021.

By the time he left Randburg, in February, he had led the club to over 30 tournament trophies, 14 of which came from 2022 alone, and helped produce several young international and provincial players, including de Kock, who is opening the batting for South Africa in the current World Cup competition.

Paddy arrived in Scotland in February for work, in the financial industry, based in Grangemouth, and moved to live in Dunfermline, which led to him joining up at McKane.

He commented: "I started coaching in my mid-teens, combining it with developing my own playing skills, achieving my first graded qualification from the Gauteng Cricket Board the same year, and continued to improve my skills by doing the CSA Level One, at the age of 18 and achieved my CSA level 2 in 2010.

"My immediate aim is to create a solid base for our youth development system, which can see a conveyor belt of talent supplying players for the senior teams.

“It is about looking to get youngsters attracted to the game at aged five and make it fun for them, and something to enjoy.

“The pathway will take them through the various age groups and ensure that all their questions about the game can be suitably answered, and that their enjoyment levels are high and they can move through to the senior level."

Paddy intends to work with the club’s five coaches to help them be ready to answer any questions the youngsters may have for them, and also help the club’s captains deal with the many on the field circumstances which crop up in every game at key times.

Hoping to be fit to play in the 2024 season, he concluded: “We have excellent facilities at McKane Park, with good practice areas, and a quality playing surface, and the aim in 2024 has to be to take the club closer to getting back up to national league level.”