QUEEN’S PARK Cricket Club executive member Jeffrey Guillen said David Furlonge’s appointment as head coach of the TT Red Force is a big loss to Queen’s Park Cricket Club (QPCC), but because of succession planning the club will be in “good hands.”
Guillen, the club’s cricket “captain” on the executive, told Newsday he was delighted his fellow Parkite is being given the opportunity at national senior level.
“Honestly, I am very elated for David. I think it was very well deserved. In essence he has had a lot of experience coaching, and he has coached the most successful team over the last ten years in local cricket,” Guillen said.
Furlonge, who led the Parkites to multiple domestic titles, was announced as Red Force head coach by the TT Cricket Board on Monday.
He replaced former West Indies fast bowler Mervyn Dillon. Furlonge worked alongside Dillon as team manager from January 2019-March 2020.
Furlonge held the position of head coach for close to ten years and was cricket administrator for the last year at QPCC. He has been a coach at the club for more than two decades.
The new Red Force coach immediately resigned from his positions at Queen’s Park, saying, “I don’t think it’s ethical for me to continue on as QPCC coach and be national coach.”
Guillen said Furlonge will be missed, but the structure at the club allows the Parkites to remain one of the premier clubs in TT.
“Queen’s Park always had a succession plan. David succeeded Bryan Davis, and Gregory Davis would be succeeding David Furlonge as the cricket administrator. So Queen’s Park will remain in very good hands, and as you know, David will always be part of Queen’s Park anyway.”
Guillen added, “I think that our programmes and our development speak for themselves in terms of the cricketers we have been producing. The systems are there and I have no doubt that (we would) continue to grow from strength to strength despite David’s absence, which is a big loss.”
At QPCC, Furlonge guided the club to 18 premiership division titles and 24 others in varying divisions such as premiership II and North Zone, among others.
Several national and West Indies players have played under Furlonge at Queen’s Park. They include West Indies 50-Over and T20 captain Kieron Pollard, the leading T20 wicket-taker in the world Dwayne Bravo, Darren Bravo, Sunil Narine, Shannon Gabriel and Khary Pierre.
Guillen said Furlonge would have gained valuable knowledge at QPCC under former West Indies cricketer Bryan Davis, who has been with the club for over 50 years.
“He has worked under Bryan Davis and there is no one more knowledgeable than Bryan Davis in TT cricket…lessons learnt and I think he would do an excellent job. I am happy that the TT Cricket Board made the right choice.”