Wayne Madsen has landed his first coaching job – as the new man in charge of a women’s hockey team. Yet that is not such a huge change of direction for the 27-year-old as it may seem.
Madsen had far stronger credentials as an international hockey midfield player than he did as an opening batsman before making his debut in county cricket for Derbyshire in 2009.
Not only had he won more senior international caps for South Africa than he had played games of first-class cricket when he first arrived in this country, he admits hockey was his first sporting love. “I was actually a better hockey player than I was a cricketer,” he said.
Madsen quit hockey with 39 caps after representing his country in the World Cup in Germany and at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne in 2006 but now he is back in the sport as the coach of Belper Ladies Hockey Club, who were relegated last season from the National League.
“I retired from hockey after the World Cup in 2006 at the tender age of 22 because I had to make a decision at that stage,” he added. “I’d finished my studies, so I either had to get a job to play hockey or play cricket as my job and I decided to go that route. So far, it’s worked out well for me.
“My brother, Lloyd, plays professionally in Holland but at the time the option wasn’t quite there for me. In a way, it was a no-brainer to go with cricket but I still miss hockey big time. By coaching, I can still stay involved and give back to the game that has given me a lot of pleasure.”
Madsen has coaching experience from his time in South Africa, where his mother runs a hockey academy, and has also run high performance sessions with senior international players.
Cricket will continue to have first call on Madsen’s time but he does not believe the two commitments will clash too often. “I may have a few issues at the end of the season if we go on pre-season tour but I’ll be able to attend most of the games,” he said.
“Hockey practices are in evenings and even in the winter, we train for cricket in the day, so it won’t clash. Pretty much from the end of the cricket season, I should have a lot of time for the coaching.”