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NSW Blues get a new coach : Ireland's Johnston

Johnston, who was last month named in the role on an interim basis following Trevor Bayliss's appointment as England mentor, beat out a host of strong contenders for the role, including current Bangladesh coach Chandika Hathurusingha, who has enjoyed considerable recent success with the subcontinental nation.

“The NSW Blues are about producing Australian players and winning national titles,” Johnston said.

“We have a very talented squad ranging from experienced international players to rookies who are at the start of their professional careers.

I look forward to helping all of them to achieve our team goals, as well as their personal ones. This is a very exciting opportunity for me and I am ready to take this next step in my career. I am passionate about cricket, I am passionate about coaching and I am passionate about NSW.

The 41-year-old, who was born in Wollongong and made his first-class debut alongside Brett Lee in 1999 before moving to Ireland for family reasons, has been an assistant at the Blues for the past nine months.

His primary focus has been coaching in NSW's Pathway program with the under-19s, under-17s and academy players, but he was stepped up to the interim head coach role as Cricket NSW moved to ensure the state was not left behind at the beginning of pre-season training.

New South Wales suffered a double blow in the coaching ranks in quick succession, with first-team assistant coach Phil Jaques appointed to the vacancy at the myFootDr Queensland Bulls just a fortnight before Bayliss was poached by England.

With Victoria having already locked in former state quick and ex-England fast bowling coach David Saker and South Australia appointing local hero Jamie Siddons to their vacancy, NSW suddenly found themselves on the back foot and behind other states in terms of planning and preparation for the 2015-16 Bupa Sheffield Shield season. 

Johnston played 67 one-day internationals and 30 Twenty20 international matches for Ireland, and was captain in their first World Cup appearance in the Caribbean in 2007 where he lead the team to a famous win against Pakistan in Jamaica.

Prior to returning to Australia, Johnston was the head coach of the Irish women’s team and the men’s Leinster Lightning side, with whom he won 50-over and three-day Inter-Provincial Championships in both 2013 and 2014.

He has also served as an Assistant Coach to the Ireland A side, and was the Bowling Coach at the Cricket Ireland National Academy.

Source - CA

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