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Staff Profiles

Stephen Cunis – General Manager

BTchLn (Primary), NZC Level 3 Coach.

Stephen grew up in Northland and played for Maungakaramea, WBHS and Northland before he moved to Christchurch to further develop his cricket. He played and coached at the St Albans Cricket Club for 14 years and played 9 years of First Class Cricket for Canterbury. Whilst playing in Christchurch, Stephen studied and gained his teaching qualification and was a Primary School teacher for 10 years before relocating to Northland after the February 2011 earthquakes severely damaged his house and land.

After his retirement from First Class Cricket, he was employed by the Canterbury Cricket Association to coach and assist with various representative teams, including U15, U17 and Canterbury ‘A’. From there Stephen was appointed the Canterbury Magicians Head Coach for 4 seasons and during that time was also the Assistant Coach of the NZ White Ferns. He was nominated for the Canterbury Sport Coach of the Year on 3 occasions after various competition wins with both club and representative teams.

Since returning to Northland with his wife Kara and 3 young sons Flynn, Nate and Henry, Stephen is working full time for Northland Cricket Association as the General Manager. He is a Winter Training Academy coach, the Northland Men’s coach, ND A coach, NZ A Bowling coach and a NZ High Performance Coach.  Stephen is very passionate about cricket and particularly cricket in Northland. He believes there are some outstanding cricketers in the area and that the facilities available at Cobham Oval are of a high quality. He also believes there is a great coaching and administration team within the Northland Cricket Association and looks forward to the challenges and rewards that the future may bring.

Neal Parlane – Competitions Manager

NZC Level 2 Coach

Neal grew up on Tamingi St in sunny Ruakaka. A student of One Tree Point Primary and then Bream Bay college, Neal played for Maungakaramea through all the age groups until he made his senior debut at the age of 11. Neal also represented Northland and Northern Districts in all age groups. In 1992 Neal became the youngest player to represent the Northland senior team at the age of 14. In 1997 he made his First Class debut for ND.

After 5 on and off seasons with ND, Neal moved to Wellington where he had 9 successful seasons. In 2011 he moved from Wellington to play for the Auckland Aces in what proved to be his last season playing First Class cricket. Neal then returned to Northland to take up a coaching role with the NCA and to also play and captain the Northland Men’s side.

As a coach Neal gained Level 2 in 2008 and has a wealth of experience through his player/coach roles in the UK. Neal has spent 12 summers in the UK where he has gained a fine reputation as not only a major run scorer but also a well organised and practical coach with high expectations

Ben Hyde – Junior Competitions Manager

BCom, NZC Level 2 Coach

Ben is a born and bred Northlander, playing his junior cricket for Kamo while attending Hurupaki Primary, then playing for Whangarei Boys while at High School and returning to the Kamo Club in 2010. Since leaving high school, Ben has been a member of the New Zealand U19 team which competed at the 2012 World Cup, he has played over 50 games for the Northland Men’s side and has just completed his second season abroad in the United Kingdom.

Ben has earned a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Waikato and is a Level 2 qualified coach. His role is currently the Junior Competitions Manager for the NCA and this sees him involved in all aspects of junior cricket; both coaching and administration. He is also Head Coach at Kamo Cricket Club; involved with players from C grade through to Senior teams as well as the Kamo High School sides.

Aside from cricket, Ben is an avid squash player and loves to enjoy the Northland summers at the beach.

Karl Trieber – Junior Representative Director

NZC Level 3 Coach

Karl arrived in New Zealand in 1960 as a Hungarian refugee and started his cricket career at the prestigious Hikurangi Primary School’s bottom field. From there he moved to Kamo High and then the Kamo Club before progressing rather interestingly straight to the Northern Districts First Class team before he represented  Northland at senior level.

He played for the very successful Northern Districts team in the late 1980s and early 1990s and was selected for New Zealand at Under 23 level.  He originally played as a left arm opening bowler and graduated into the dual role as a left arm spinner as well. For example, against Australia, he picked up two wickets, including Steve Waugh, bowling pace and two more, including Allan Border, bowling spin.

He holds the Northland record of most wickets with 299.

Karl moved into coaching with Northland Cricket and is a NZC Level 3 coach. He has coached all levels of teams within Northland. He was appointed Northern Knights coach for two seasons in which time they won the national one day title and he also had coaching stints at the New Zealand Cricket Academy with the NZ Womens team and running Junior Pace and Spin clinics.

He continues to coach part time for Northland at junior level, fostering the next generation of Northland Cricketers.

Sam Walker – Cricket Development Officer

ECB Level 2 Coach

Sam originates from Hampshire England. Cricket was a part of his life from as far back as Sam can remember, with his father owning a Cricket Store. Sam played for 2 local clubs during which time he played Junior Representative cricket for Hampshire Age group sides and the league Representative side.

On the completion of his school years, Sam furthered his education by going on to College and then University where he studied a BA Honours course in Sports Development and Marketing. Whilst at University Sam was an active sports coach in numerous sports to help support his studies.

In 2011 Sam came to Northland to be a Player/Coach for Kamo Cricket Club. That season the Reserve team won both competitions and at the end of the season Sam agreed to return the following season as Player/Coach for Kamo High school. That season saw the School team win two of the three competitions entered.

Sam is an ECB level 2 qualified coach and has held various positions as head coach of clubs in England with great success. Sam’s main aim is to up skill as a coach and pursue a coaching career moving forward.

Sam is sold on the Northland Lifestyle and is enjoying the everyday life of a Northlander. In his spare time Sam can be found at one of the numerous beaches we have on offer or at the Golf Course.

Helen Smith – Commercial Manager

Helen grew up in Auckland on the Shore spending most of her school days either in the dark room, on the netball court or in the swimming pool. She did her 7th form at Mt Aspiring College in Wanaka where they spent 3 days a week doing outdoor pursuits and during the winter this was 3 days up the mountain snowboarding!

From Wanaka she went to Otago Polytechnic where she studied for 2 years to obtain her City and Guilds Diploma in Travel and Tourism. She returned to Auckland and worked for a travel wholesaler and got the real buzz for traveling, spending time travelling through Australia & the Pacific Islands.

After getting married to Ross in 2005 on the beach at Waipu Cove, they moved to the South East coast of Kent in the UK.  She worked for an insurance underwriter for 3 years and was then fortunate to be employed by Royal St. Georges Golf Club to manage all of the members ticketing requirements for the 2011 Open Championship. She then went over the fence to their neighbouring club, Prince’s Golf Club, where she worked in the golf sales office.  They spent 9 years in Kent and returned to NZ in September 2014.

Helen has two children aged 8 and 4, they keep her on her toes! It was always a dream to move to beautiful Bream Bay at some point, she has very fond memories of this area and now for their children to grow up around here makes them feel extremely lucky to be living in such an amazing part of NZ!  In their spare time Helen, Ross and the children like to walk in the bush, spend it on the beach and socialise with friends.

Northland Cricket would like to thank its sponsors and supporters
Refining NZ Cricket Express Mainfreight Hill Construction Team Tait Hirepool Oxford Sports Trust Whangarei District Council Chilltech The Northern Advocate Grassroots Trust Dudley & Dennis Signs Recreational Services Rothbury