Myerscough College, based in Preston, UK, has an excellent reputation for producing high quality performers both on and off the pitch. Alumni include current Lancashire captain Steven Croft whilst a number of graduates work in coaching, game development and with cricket boards across the country. They have a squad of 30 16-20 year olds who play throughout the year as part of their Higher & Further Educational training.
We caught up with head coach Liam Castellas who joined Myerscough in 2016 after moving to the UK. His career in Australia included playing Premier League Cricket in Melbourne and coaching the Cricket Victoria Female Academy. As well as Myerscough, the ECB Level 4 coach is Head Coach for Lancashire Women’s 2nd XI.
Q: What did you want to achieve by using CricHQ and My Action Replay?
I’ve always been a huge fan of CricHQ and used it for the past 5 years – it’s absolutely the way cricket should move forward. Last summer I was looking for a way we could video the games and sync them with the CricHQ scorecards and I spent some time looking for something that didn’t seem to exist. When I learnt that indexed video was being integrated into the platform it was the perfect solution – basically CricHQ and MAR have done what I would have done.
"Our successes have been in no small part due to the fact we have been using CricHQ & My Action Replay!"
Q: What MAR system are you using?
We use the mobile version with a battery pack and have the camera on a tripod. Attaching the camera to the sightscreen is another option to get as much height as possible in order to generate more a better viewing experience. We’d love to have a fixed version too although at the moment we haven’t actually got a club house to fix it to!
Q: How do you view the replays?
We have a tablet that the players can view the replays on instantly at the side of the pitch and our Match Analyst views them for patterns in play or in individuals. All our players view it on their phones at any time. We also share the link to the scorecard at the start of the match so supporters and families can watch – even from their home or workplace. The family of one of our players from Greece can now watch all his matches live, something they’ve never been able to do before. We’ve even got the squad members who aren’t at the matches viewing and sharing the footage of their team mates.
Q: What results have you seen from using the My Action Replay hub within CricHQ?
I’d say we’ve had three really tangible results. The feedback the players get, the fact they can promote/share themselves, and the fact we can promote ourselves as a college and team. It all amounts to hugely exciting developments for us.
Q: Can you elaborate a bit on each of those three effects?
1. The players use the replays for feedback.
The replays are so easily and instantly available to view that the players use them to drive their training and their individual development. In the first couple of weeks it was just exciting for them to see themselves on screen and online – but it’s evolved since then and now they use the replays and the match stats to improve their own performance. It’s been a huge revelation to be able to show them a pattern of behaviour or how they perform under pressure. They completely engage with the footage and are asking more questions as we use it, taking the initiative and then acting on it. When they then see the footage of how they improved it’s a great moment. Knowledge and information is power and they have all this at their fingertips now with CricHQ.
2. The players can promote themselves.
With assistance from having the replays in their CricHQ scorecards a couple of our squad members have now got contracts to play in Australia next year. They were able to download their replays and stats from CricHQ and send to prospective clubs. The clubs were really impressed with the professional approach, how current the footage was and how much data was included. We also have other coaches from development and representative sides viewing replays and scorecards of their squad members so they can check on performance.
3. We can promote our college and our games.
The more that cricket can be viewed by everyone the better, and if it engages youngsters and future players the better it is for us and for all cricket. With our live scorecards being shared and viewed we are making cricket more accessible and showing people how cricket can be played and managed. In turn, more people see that Myerscough College has this fantastic course, plays these prestigious fixtures, has a targeted training programme etc. and so we look for an increase in applications for our courses.
Our twitter feed has seen a 45% increase in tweet impressions and 20% increase in tweet mentions. We have also increased the number of media views and total engagements across posts that incorporate match clips.
Facebook has seen a higher percentage of posts clicked/viewed when incorporating media, with an increased reach and number of reactions/comments/shares on articles involving match clips.
Our successes this season, including beating the MCC, have been in no small part due to the fact we have been using CricHQ and My Action Replay. We’ve improved on all our measurables, and everyone benefits from us using it – players, coaches, the college, families, supporters and the cricket community as a whole. It’s really what everyone should be moving towards.