The Lion King has officially returned home!
Former Fairfield Liverpool all-rounder Grant Lambert has been announced as coach of the Lions for the the 2018/19 NSW Premier Cricket season.
Lambert, who retired from playing at the end of the 2012/13 season, said he was looking forward to working with the club’s growing list of young talented players across all five grades.
“Some of the younger players have the potential to be really good players,” he said.
“Guys like Harmon Sandhu, Luke Ohrynowsky and Param Uppal are good talents and I’m looking forward to working with them along with some of the older guys like Jeremy Cashman.”
Lambert’s first priority is “installing pride” in performance and playing for each other and the club. Last year the first grade team finished in 15th place which was the best result across all five grades.
Lambert knows a thing or two about quality performances. In 302 first grade matches he scored 11,250 runs at an average of 38.52, while also taking 624 wickets at 21.05.
In 2006/07 Lambert set a new record for the most first grade runs scored in one season, hitting 1,527 runs at an average of 95.44.
He also won three O’Reilly Medals as the First Grade Player of the Year in 2006/07, 2002/03 and 1997/98.
“The opportunity to coach back at Fairfield Liverpool was a great way to give something back to the club. They were good to me for such a long time while I was playing so I’m looking forward to getting into it ,” said Lambert, who in recent times has set up his own cricket coaching business Complete Cricket.
“I miss the competitive nature of cricket so this was a good way to come back and be around a team again and help the next generation of cricketers at the club.”
Lambert will lead a new-look Lions this summer.
Former captain Gurinder Sandhu has signed a deal with Tasmania to join former Lion Jake Doran in the Apple Isle for the next two years.
The Lions also said farewell to former Australian quick Doug Bollinger who retired last year while Lambert’s former teammate Anthony Clark is contemplating his future after a glittering 400-plus game career which has yielded more than 10,000 runs and 700 wickets.
It’s been a good off-season for the next generation of Lions stars with Uppal and Chad Sammut (rookie) earning Cricket NSW contracts.
The pair are also part of the 2018 Cricket Australia Male National Performance Squad which will be based at the National Cricket Centre in Brisbane.
Young cubs Artharva Patil and Aryan Kate have been selected in NSW Metro under-19 and 17s teams.