FORMER Abingdon Vale skipper Dave Ward has quit the club to become director of coaching at Kingston Bagpuize.
Citing disillusionment with Abingdon’s selection policy, Ward said he was sad to be leaving the club after nearly 20 years.
“For the the first game of the season I was in the first XI and then I got picked for the third XI,” he said. “How can that be right?
“It was while playing for Abingdon 3rd against Kingston that the offer came to join them as director of cricket.
“I’ve alway been been interested in coaching and bringing on the youngsters and that’s what I now want to do with Kingston, whom I played for in my late teens.”
Ward, 46, said he was looking forward to playing for Kingston in Division 3 of the MP Sports Cherwell League, one division lower than Vale’s first team.
With his sons playing in the Abingdon’s junior sides, Ward wanted to retain his social membership of the club.
“But it was refused, for some reason,” said Ward, who was involved with the club’s youth section and helped raise funds to build their new scorebox.
“Abingdon decided they wanted a clean break.
“There are some members of the committee who don’t appreciate what I’ve done for the club over many years.
“It’s left something of a sour taste. But I’m now looking forward to a new challenge and am excited to involved again. It’s been a breath of fresh air.”
Abingdon Vale chairman Robin Newman said that Ward’s comments on his social membership at the club were wide of the mark.
“He’s automatically entitled to a social membership as he has two sons in the youth section at the club,” he said.
“So there is no issue there.”
Dick Giles, from Kingston, said: “Dave Ward is a respected coach, who as chairman of the Vale youth development group, will bring a uniform coaching structure right through from our juniors to our seniors.”
There is a question mark over Ward’s continung role on the Cherwell League committee, where he is responsible for sponsorship and fund-raising.
The league’s constitution says that no club can have more than one member on the committee.
With Cherwell secretary Giles coming from Kingston, this would appear to infringe the league rules.
League chairman Clive Ricks said that as Ward was elected at the last annual meeting, he would stay in that role.
“What happens at the new AGM is really a matter for our constitution review committee, who are looking at all our rules,” said Ricks.