Saints snap up Martin as player coach for season

Kevin Martin has joined St Johnston as their new player/coach ahead of the 2015 season. Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com
Kevin Martin has joined St Johnston as their new player/coach ahead of the 2015 season. Picture by Darren Kidd/Presseye.com

Kevin Martin is the latest player on the move in the North West after the wicket-keeper/batsman told CricketEurope this morning that he has joined Premiership new boys St Johnston ahead of the upcoming season.

The left-hander has been at Strabane Park since leaving Ardmore at the end of 2008, picking up three league winners medals during a purple patch for the Tyrone club. Martin’s decision to move is poor timing for the Red Caps who have now lost half of the side that led them to the title just six months ago.

Martin was quick to pay tribute to the club that has been his home for the past six years.

“The committee, players and supporters made me feel very welcome and we enjoyed a very successful few years in that time.

To be honest I felt that the time had come to move before last season started, but given that my close friend Gilly (Mark Gillespie) had announced that it was his last senior season, I wanted to stay to see if we could give him a big send-off,” he stated.

“Thankfully it worked out with another league title and although I am leaving some good friends, I feel I now need a fresh challenge.”

“The opportunity to come to St Johnston has really appealed to me as it also involves a dedicated coaching role. Playing in the Premier League is always challenging but I will also now be coaching a top flight club and that will really test the mettle. There are some excellent young players at St Johnston and I am really looking forward to working with them and hopefully helping the club to progress.”

Saints’ skipper Ian Macbeth was delighted to have got his man. “We played Strabane a couple of times in the past few seasons and Kevin has always impressed us with his overall game. He fits our requirements perfectly given that he is an experienced keeper and opener.

“Of course it is a big year for our younger players, but the likes of Ryan and Nathan Cole have also been in the Academy squad throughout the winter and are champing at the bit to show what they can do at this level. The club is delighted to welcome Kevin.”