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Trent Johnston Swaps Ireland For New South Wales

Trent Johnston attempts a catch
Trent Johnston has accepted a coaching role with New South Wales
©REUTERS / Action Images

Trent Johnston has accepted a coaching role with New South Wales, which will bring to an end his long association with Cricket Ireland as a player, captain and coach.

Johnson retired as a player last year after the ICC Intercontinental Cup final against Afghanistan, his 198th match for Ireland.

He then took up a dual role as coach of Leinster Lightning and Ireland Women, who he guided to their first ever ICC Women's World Twenty20 appearance earlier this year.

Now Johnston, 40, will head back to New South Wales, where he started his playing career, and link up with the state as an assistant to Trevor Bayliss and a pathway coach.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for myself and my family and one that I simply can't pass up," Johnston said.

"I didn't go looking for the switch but now that's it's happened, I'm relishing the challenge and looking forward to what I suppose is a homecoming for me, having started my cricket career at NSW what seems like a lifetime ago.

"I'm going to an organisation that is steeped in tradition and history and is of course my birth state.

"I will miss Cricket Ireland and its people, sponsors, and fantastic supporters.

"Everyone has been amazing to me and my family over the past 10 years, and I'll never forget that."

Johnston will leave his roles with Leinster and Ireland Women on 10th September.

"I've loved every minute coaching the women's team, and we've grown and developed together since the start of the year.

"The squad are making huge strides both as individuals and as a team, and I'll really miss them all.

"The role with Leinster Lightning was my first real foray into coaching which was a huge challenge in a competitive tournament, especially as we were expected to dominate," Johnston added.

"To keep that group of exceptional players striving to improve was a challenge I relished and embraced.

"I was fortunate to have John Mooney as captain this year, who is without doubt a born leader and someone you would want by your side in the trenches."

Cricket Ireland Performance Director Richard Holdsworth paid tribute to Johnston. "We are naturally very sorry to lose Trent so early in his contract with Cricket Ireland, but understand what a great opportunity this new position provides for him," he said.

"He has made a lot of progress with our women's team in the last seven months and been very committed to Leinster Lightning who have the potential for further success in the Newstalk Inter-Pro series this summer.

"Trent has worked tirelessly to make the women's programme more professional and I hope they and he have some deserved success in their remaining matches this summer.

"We wish Trent all the very best in his new coaching role and great challenges with Cricket New South Wales and very much hope that he remains in touch with cricket in Ireland where he has contributed so much over the last decade."

Johnston captained Ireland between 2006 and 2010, leading them during their breakthrough World Cup performance in 2007 where they beat Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He was also part of the squad that upset England in the 2011 event and he played in the 2010 and 2012 ICC World Twenty20 competitions.

© Cricket World 2014