Trent Johnston appointed Ireland women’s team coach

Retired international also part-time fast-bowling coach at Cricket Ireland’s National Academy

Trent Johnston will make it to Bangladesh after all after the retired international opening bowler was named the new Ireland women's team coach ahead of their first appearance at the World Twenty20 Finals in March.

Johnston was part of the men’s side that earned qualification for the event in Abu Dhabi recently and the 39-year-old capped his 198th and final appearance for his adopted country by lifting the Intercontinental Cup for a fourth time with victory over Afghanistan in Dubai on Friday.

Johnston will take over the women's team from his good friend and fellow Australian-born Irish international Jeremy Bray, and will cut short a family holiday to Australia to take charge of the tour to Qatar in early January to play a tri-nations series with Pakistan and South Africa.

Johnston has been handed a two-year contract with the women’s team and will also take a part-time role as fast-bowling coach at Cricket Ireland’s recently-formed National Academy. And to show that he will remain an all-rounder, the YMCA player will continue as coach to the Leinster Lightning provincial side also.


Johnston admits he will have to hit the ground running with a hectic schedule leading up to the World Twenty20, where Ireland will be the only associate team in action after securing qualification in Dublin last summer.

'A great honour'
"It's very exciting and a great honour to be given these new challenges by Cricket Ireland. It's certainly a new chapter in my life and one I'm looking forward to immensely," said Johnston.

“I’m on a two-year deal to coach the Ireland women, and it’ll be a baptism of fire as we’re taking part in a tri-series in Qatar in January with full members South Africa and Pakistan.

“That’s followed by Ireland’s first T20 finals in Bangladesh. It’s going to be tough because we’ll be the only associate member there – but I wouldn’t have it any other way.” On combining the women’s job with his post at the National Academy, Johnston added: “It’s a great job fit for me and it’ll be great helping shape the future of Irish cricket, passing on my knowledge and experience.”

Cricket Ireland performance director Richard Holdsworth believes that experience is too much of a resource not to utilise as the governing body for the sport continue towards their goal of attaining Test status by 2020. "Trent has played in over 15 countries world-wide and just under 200 times for Ireland," Holdsworth said. "He has moved further into coaching in recent times, and we firmly believe he is the right man to lead the Ireland women's team for the next two years."

Holdsworth is confident that Johnston will prove a perfect role model for the young academy bowlers and the Ireland under-age squads. “It is fitting that the man who has led the Ireland bowling attack for 10 years, is now going to be instrumental in the development of the next generation of young quicks.”

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan

Emmet Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist