Following a successful playing career that included a stint with the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, current bowling coach of the Durban franchise Quinton Friend feels satisfied with his first season on the coaching staff.
He joined a fresh set of coaches at the beginning of the year with Imraan Khan taking the helm and Mduduzi Mbatha also coming on board as a fielding coach. Their success as a coaching unit has seen them all sign new two year contracts.
“I think I could say that it was a successful season for the team even though we had a tough start,” Friend said. “It was always going to be a challenge with a new set of coaches trying to instil their vision on the side and trying to get a settled team from a selection point of view.
“We managed to do that and that is how we reaped the rewards towards the end of the season and it was great to come out on top by winning the Momentum One Day Cup.
“There is a lot of hard work that lies ahead and we need to keep our feet on the ground and become a team that believes that we can reproduce this form every season.”
Being part of the Dolphins set-up was a first franchise coaching role from Friend who believes that he has grown a lot as a coach in the short space of time that he has been with the Dolphins.
“I learnt so much this season,” he explained. “I think it is sometimes difficult coming into an environment not knowing what type of characters there are in the team but I must say the guys were magnificent in welcoming me.
“It is fantastic working with the current bowling attack that we have and they have worked extremely hard and bought into the plans that I brought to the table.
“You have to give them all the credit in how they went about their business and executed the plans as we continue to strive for perfection as a bowling unit.”
With the likes of Daryn Dupavillon, Eathan Bosch, Prenelan Subrayen, Kerwin Mungroo and the experienced Rob Frylinck amongst the bowling unit for the new season, Friend is excited by what they and the rest of the Dolphins can produce next campaign.
“We have probably got the best mixture of bowlers in our franchise so I am very upbeat about how things are looking for the coming season.
“Hopefully we can get out on the field and in the nets and test our skills sooner rather than later,” he mentioned.
The Dolphins have made a handful of signings in the offseason and Friend is looking forward to the impact that they will make in the new season.
“We’ve signed Ottniel Baartman from the VKB Knights and he is going to offer us good control and pace but we are going to work on upping his speed during the offseason.
“We are going to work hard on that because I believe that he is a player that can make that step up.”
Friend will be able to work with the bowlers for a full offseason this year and although there aren’t massive changes to make he will tweak things here and there to make sure his bowling unit hits the ground running at the start of the new campaign.
“Hopefully with the time we have before the season we can grow from strength to strength as Dolphins cricket.
“I only had a month with the side before last season so we have time to make necessary changes but I am very positive about where this group of players is heading going into the next season.”