Hood heads new MCA lineup

In the space of eight years, Neil Hood has bounced from being the Manawatu Cricket Association's fulltime executive officer to part-time executive consultant to general manager.

As general manager he will now be the administrative mouthpiece for the MCA, with the impending departure of the multiskilled operations manager Ian Sandbrook for England.

Sandbrook's job was to be divvied up three ways, but now it seems it will be carved into four.

Hood will double his time at the MCA office at Ongley Park to three days a week while a part-time administrator will be appointed before next summer.

"The plan was for me to step into a slightly bigger role," Hood said.

The three men appointed so far, virtually from within, all have Manawatu backgrounds, and were chosen from many applicants. The other two are former Black Cap Michael Mason and the junior development manager for the past three seasons, David Meiring.

On the appointments, Hood said: "Mike and Dave stood out from the rest and their understanding and genuine passion for the game in the Manawatu region were crucial attributes."

Mason has the new fulltime position of coaching manager while representative batsman David Meiring will be the fulltime development manager.

It is timely for 37-year-old Mason, who has just retired from playing for Central Districts. He has a property in his hometown of Pahiatua but he and his wife, who works in Palmerston North, and family are in the process of shifting permanently to Palmerston North.

Hood will essentially be their boss and will focus on finances and organising the MCA.

The most high-profile component of Mason's job will be succeeding Sandbrook as the Manawatu representative coach. That's a far cry for Mason from having been a first-class player for the past 15 seasons.

"He will have to make the transition to learn new skills, from being a top-quality player to a top coach, and will have to undertake New Zealand coaching courses," Hood said.

Mason will also run Manawatu Cricket's high-performance programmes including expanding the academy, the junior representative and coach education programmes as well as women's rep cricket.

Meiring won't be returning to play in England. At the start of the season he had a shoulder operation and wasn't picked for the CD A side. But like Sandbrook, he will continue to play for Marist and Manawatu.

He will be the community cricket co-ordinator and will work with schools and clubs, also helping Mason with the academy and junior rep cricketers.

The Manawatu Standard