Academy Director and Fielding Coach, Carl Hopkinson, has been appointed as the ECB’s new Lead Fielding Coach. He will leave Sussex Cricket at the end of March.
‘Hoppo’ has been on the coaching staff at Sussex since 2010. An assistant coach for two years, Carl was then 2nd XI Coach between 2012 and 2016 before taking on his current role.
The 36-year-old was a Sussex player for nine seasons after making his first team debut in 2001. His first class debut came the following year, and he went on to play an important role in the County Championship winning sides of 2006 & 2007.
Commenting on his appointment and looking back at his time with Sussex, Carl said: “I’m honoured to have been given this fantastic opportunity to not only develop the fielding of English cricketers within the ECB pathway, but to also work closely with counties to help improve the overall standard of fielding throughout the country.
“I’d like to thank Sussex Cricket for their years of support both as a player and a coach. The development opportunities given to me by the club have been outstanding and have allowed me to take this next step in my career.
“I have been with Sussex since I was in the under-10s and have spent all 18 years of my working life here, first as a player and then a coach. It’s going to be extremely tough to say goodbye to the club I love and where I have enjoyed so much success both professionally and personally.
“I will of course be keeping a close eye on how things progress and will keep in touch with the many close friends I have made during my time at Hove.”
David Parsons, the ECB’s Performance Director, said: “This is an important role, working with the most talented players on the Men’s International Pathway and the England team, and also alongside the county network to raise the standards of fielding across the game.
“Carl is a perfect fit for that, given his extensive experience of the county game, and the respect he has gained through his work with Sussex. He is an excellent coach, is passionate and committed about fielding, and has developed an outstanding technical knowledge.
“He has worked on the Pathway previously on Lions and Young Lions programmes, and led the delivery of the Level 4 Fielding Module. I am confident that his appointment will be welcomed by players and counties alike.”
Sussex Director of Cricket, Keith Greenfield added: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Carl within the England set up to make his mark on our international players and is yet another example of the many Sussex coaches that have moved into the international arena.
“We wish Carl out very best wishes, he has spent all of his working life at Sussex and worked tirelessly throughout that time in trying to improve Susses Cricket and the individual players he has worked with.”
Details of the Academy Director vacancy will appear on the Sussex Cricket website in due course.