Noffke leaves Queensland, Brisbane Heat for Otago job

New Zealand

Ashley Noffke will leave Queensland’s WNCL set-up and Brisbane Heat in the WBBL, while also stepping down as an assistant with UP Warriorz in the WPL, to take up a new coaching role with the Otago men’s team in New Zealand.

It continues a winter of significant coaching changes within Queensland cricket after Wade Seccombe departed the men’s position with the state and Heat despite claiming the BBL title. Noffke was strongly linked with those roles before Johan Botha was handed the jobs.

Mark Sorell, the former coach of the Australia women’s team from 2005-2007, has been named as Noffke’s replacement for both Queensland and Heat on a one-season contract.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for me in my coaching journey,” Noffke said of his move. “The Volts and Otago Cricket are on the cusp of something special, and I’m keen to be part of that”.

Noffke took on the Heat and Queensland coaching roles in 2019-20, winning a WBBL title in his first season and guiding Queensland to its inaugural WNCL title in 2020-21.

“It’s bittersweet to be leaving the Fire and the Heat,” he added in a Queensland Cricket statement. “I’m excited about what lies ahead, especially working in a new program, but there are a lot of good memories from my time in Queensland.

“I’m thankful for the guidance and support from the senior players, especially Jess Jonassen and Georgia Redmayne, and Mark as the assistant coach who is also a good mate. I wish the players, coaches and staff every success this year and look forward to watching the Heat and Fire teams flourish in the summers ahead.”

Noffke, who starts with Otago later this month, will continue as coach of London Spirit in the Women’s Hundred this season before resuming the pre-season back in New Zealand.

Queensland and Heat captain Jess Jonassen conceded there had been some upheaval during the off season but was confident the teams were well placed to handle it.

“We’ve undergone some change throughout the off season and to have ‘Motsa’ [Sorrell] commit to the head coach position is a great way to provide our group with some stability moving forward,” she said. “He is extremely experienced and brings a lot of positive energy and enthusiasm to the role. I’m excited to see him dive in and continue to challenge the group.”

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