SOPHIE Luff has been appointed by the Somerset Cricket Board to the post of Women and Girls Performance Head Coach.

She replaces Paul Lawrence, who stepped down from the role recently but will continue to be Head Coach for the Somerset Women and also coach on the player pathway.

In her new role, Luff who captains Somerset Women’s team and was also a member of the Kia Super League winning side Western Storm, will be responsible for managing the Somerset female player pathway. 

The pathway includes all cricket above club and school standard up to and including the Somerset Women’s team who this summer will compete in Division One of The County Championship.

The purpose of the pathway is to help players develop so they can enjoy a successful career in the game. 

The SCB is also very passionate about developing every female player, so the South West Premier League and Somerset Ladies League become a viable option for talented women to play the game more locally.

Somerset Cricket Board Performance Head Coach, Matt Drakeley, who oversees the male and female pathway, is delighted with the appointment and said: “Sophie has been coaching on the pathway for a number of years now and her ability to inspire and get the best out of players has shone through. 

“A successful player herself, Sophie knows what is required to help players reach their potential and I’m looking forward to her taking our programmes to the next level.”

Luff started in her new role on May 1 and is already planning for the 2018 winter training programme. 

She said: “It’s a perfect time for me to come into the role.

“Matt, Paul and Michelle Brooks (performance administrator) have the summer programme planned so I can help the players get the most out of this summer at the same time as planning future structures and programmes. 

“Youth performance cricket will be undergoing some exciting changes under Matt’s management and I’m really looking forward to playing my part with the female pathway.”

Luff will continue to captain Somerset Women and play for Western Storm in the Kia Super League. 

Drakely added: “We are also fully supportive of Sophie continuing to improve as a player herself and would love to see her join Anya Shrubsole and Fran Wilson in the England team.”

Luff will combine her new role with her existing Community Coach role in the county where she delivers cricket in schools and clubs to help inspire the next generation of cricketers in Somerset.