Salliann Briggs has been appointed to the role of England Women Development Programme (EWDP) Under-19 Head Coach.
Briggs, who is currently Head Coach of the Loughborough University MCCU women’s programme boasting eight current England players as either students or alumni, replaces Jonathan Finch, who has become Women’s & Girls High Performance Manager.
Briggs has been working with the EWDP U15 programme for over a year and has been fundamental in driving the programme forward by developing the players through a professional and integrated approach.
Her first official work on the U19 programme will be this weekend at the National Cricket Performance Centre in Loughborough for a pre-season camp.
Briggs says her priority in the new role is to create a surplus of talent for the England Women’s Academy, which feeds the senior England Women team.
She told ecb.co.uk: “The aim is to create an over-supply for the academy programme and make sure as much as possible that we’ve got players coming through that, when they do make the step up, it’s a smooth transition and they can adapt quite quickly to that environment.
“The main prerogative really is to make sure we’ve got a growing talent pool of high quality players coming through the U19 programme and they’re able to progress into the academy programme, not when they’re 19 but ideally before that.”
Briggs is also aware of making provision for late developers or those who take up cricket in their late teens.
“We’ve got to understand, from a female point of view, that there are players that develop later on,” she continued.
“We’ve got to make sure we give opportunities for those to come into the U19 programme at the top end, while also developing those coming through the U15 programme.”
Briggs is optimistic that women’s age-group cricket in England and Wales will continue to lead the rest of the world by example.
“I think the exceptional thing that the ECB do is that we’re pretty much the pioneers of pathway cricket for women and girls,” she added.
“England Under-19s have been around for a while whereas other nations are still developing their pathway towards senior teams and only few nations have got under-19 squads.
“So it’s important for me that we have international fixtures for players to aspire to and be motivated for.
“But we’ve got to make sure that the competition is right for them in the summer – even if that means replacing less competitive international fixtures with matches against boys to ensure the challenge is right to continue the girls’ development.”