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Prized performers

Fantastic finalists put depth of coaching quality in sharp focus

Brave reviews: James Wodja, pictured with Steven Finn (r), has overcome many barriers

Fresh approach: Ron Young has recently retrained to keep his skills bang up-to-date

Every good coach knows that sometimes the display is as important as the result.

So although there could only be three category winners at this season's Sky Sports ECB Coach of the Year Awards, each of the other finalists rightly took centre stage at Lord's for the quality of their performance across the year.

The awards part of the Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme were presented by Sky Sports commentator Charles Colville and England seamer Steve Finn, the ICC's 'Emerging Player of the Year' for 2010.

Award for Young Coach Of The Year: National Finalist - James Wodja

James has developed his cricket and coaching skills despite having to overcome physical barriers along the way and has now developed to such an extent that he works as a full time coach. He has made a huge impact by developing club links and working with primary and secondary schools and because he is so young the children feel that they can relate to him. It's not uncommon for all the juniors to ask to be coached by James at local club evenings. James has now also made steps into Shropshire Cricket Board DistrictCounty training; he prides himself on what he does and has a great sense of humour which shines through when he coaches.

Award for Young Coach Of The Year: National Finalist - Gareth Marshall

Gareth has been involved in cricket coaching for over four years now, coming to the fore in the last 12 months when he has worked in a range of environments in both a paid and voluntary capacity. He has been the first point of contact for many children experiencing cricket for the first time in his role as a community coach on fundamentals for the East Staffordshire Borough council and while delivering on C2S for the Cricket Board in Derbyshire. Gareth is active at club level at Rolleston, but is also prepared to assist within other clubs who need help and advice. Gareth has also followed the coaches pathway in Derbyshire, delivering on District programmes, and last year was rewarded with a county squad.

Award for Outstanding Contribution and Services to Cricket Coaching: National Finalist - Ron Young

Ron was chosen for the award because of his continued commitment and dedication to Durham Cricket Board Coaches Association over the past 25 years. He has acted as a coach for the Durham County junior teams for years and has had an influential role to play in the development of many top County players. Ron remains highly-involved in coaching, tutoring and assessing and has recently retrained to keep his skills and knowledge up to date; that means he can continue to provide excellent service to young players and prospective coaches. His other legacy lies in his serious involvement with disability cricket, being national coach for England's Deaf squad for 15 years. He also coaches cricket in special needs schools throughout Durham, providing otherwise unavailable access and opportunities to disabled children.

The Award for Outstanding Contribution and Services to Cricket Coaching: National Finalist - Keith Whiting

With over eight years involvement in grassroots cricket coaching, Keith's current roles are Club coach at Sparsholt Cricket Club, County Coaching at Hampshire (U10/11's) and he acting as Hampshire's Cricket Board Coaches Association Chairman. He recently completed a UKCC3 qualification but the main reason for his award is that he has been the driving force behind Hampshire's coaches association. Keith was asked to volunteer as the chair of the Hampshire Cricket Board Coaches Association and after putting in the hours has formed a committee structure to the association. Although the association was only set up in April 2009, it is already making big strides in delivering informal coach education opportunities.

The Award for Outstanding Coaching Achievement: National Finalist - Paul Pridgeon

With over 25 years of cricket coaching experience, Paul Pridgeon has helped to raise the profile of coaching at local regional and national levels enormously. Over the last year he coached the Shropshire U15's to the national B Division title and the Shrewsbury School U15's to national 20-20 champions. His regional successes have helped to boost Shropshire's reputation within county junior cricket. To date Paul's most outstanding protégé is Leicestershire's James Taylor - the 2008 PCA young player of the year - whom Paul coached for five years at Shrewsbury School.

The Award for Outstanding Coaching Achievement: National Finalist - Anthony Pickersgill

Anthony has been coaching full-time for over 10 years now and currently plays an integral part in the Yorkshire Pathways centres and the Yorkshire CCC Academy, as well as acting as County U14s manager and YCB U14s county team manager and coach. He is the leading coach in the county on video analysis of young players, especially bowlers and their actions. His analysis is followed by well-planned and thoughtful one-to-one sessions which means he has been able to influence countless players in Yorkshire cricket and help them to move up to another level, all the way up to the Academy and County 1st XI standard.

A total of 24 regional winners were selected from 120 nominees across the three award categories. They were:

Young Coach of the Year

South Region: Matthew Galbraith

London Region: Mike Bohndiek

East Region: Matthew Milner

East Midlands Region: Gareth Marshall

North East Region: Stephen Davison

North West Region: Heather Beattie

South West Region: Chris Munden

West Midlands Region: James Wojda

Outstanding Coaching Achievement

South Region: Andrew Martindale

London Region: Raymond Willis

East Region: Tom Huggins

East Midlands Region: Russell Cobb

North East Region: Anthony Pickersgill

North West Region: John Pallett

South West Region: Sam Garaway

West Midlands Region: Paul Pridgeon

Outstanding Contribution & Services to Cricket Coaching

South Region: Keith Whiting

London Region: Rod Berkeley

East Region: Andrew Cliffe

East Midlands Region: John White

North East Region: Ron Young

North West Region: Peter Hancock

South West Region: Alistair Goddard

West Midlands Region: Gavin Long

The Sky Sports ECB Coach Education Programme aims to attract and train coaches at all levels of cricket in England and Wales, from schools cricket to the international game. Since the beginning of Sky's sponsorship in 2006 over 33,000 coaches have gone through the scheme. There have been 10,000 newly qualified coaches in the last 12 months 72 of whom achieved the top level qualification a figure more than three times that of the previous two years. For more information visit ECB Coach Education