New head coach Andrew Lamb may still be learning everyone’s name at Penrith Cricket Club, but he hasn’t wasted any time in putting his stamp on things.
The 43-year-old former cricketer – who only arrived in the country earlier this month after 14 years living and working in New Zealand – replaces Penrith Cricket Club icon Michael Wholohan, who quit his long-standing role last winter to link up with crosstown rivals Hawkesbury.
During his decade-and-a-half across the Tasman, Lamb played first class cricket with Wellington and Central Districts for six years before moving into coaching club cricket. Lamb coached Wellington U17’s for four years and was also Pathway Bowling Coach for Wellington Cricket.
Speaking with the Weekender, the former fast bowler said it was a “hard decision” to leave his family in New Zealand and return home to Australia to pursue the next stage of his coaching journey.
“I’ve done a lot of high performance coaching in New Zealand and I thought this role at Penrith might be a good opportunity to come back and really get started over here,” he said.
“I thought I’d apply for the role and let the club know I was keen. Sure enough they got back to me and said ‘we’re really keen to see what you can do, we like your ideas and we want to go from there’.”
Arriving in the country just in time for Penrith’s opening round clash on November 6, Lamb is slowly getting himself acquainted with everyone at the club. Having been a member of Manly-Warringah during his playing days, Lamb said he’s looking forward to the challenge of coaching in the competitive Sydney Grade Cricket competition.
“I know what the calibre of cricket is like over here and I expect it to be a step up from coaching club cricket in New Zealand,” he said.
“The processes that I’ve got in place and the things I’ve figured out over the years in coaching have pushed me towards a higher level, so I feel ready.”
Lamb, who originally hails from Bathurst, said replacing a club legend like Wholohan won’t be an easy task, but he is keen to sink his teeth into the role and eventually make the place his own.
“For me, it’s not about coming in and changing everything – there are things that work well already and things that ‘Whols’ put in place that are brilliant… but there are a few little tweaks that I’ll make to bring things into a different way of thinking, to elevate the boys into a more professional standard of training and playing,” he said.
Penrith enjoyed their first win of the season under Lamb last weekend.
Nathan Taylor is the Weekender’s Deputy Editor and Senior Sports Writer. He also compiles the weekly Chatter on the Box TV column. Nathan is an award-winning journalist, who has worked at the Weekender for a decade.