We catch up with former overseas players Mat Cox who chats about his time at the club and his new venture back home.
It is very rare to find an overseas player in club cricket that has a lasting impact on the club – the sort of impact Mat Cox had on the club in the 2013 and 2014 seasons.
Australian Cox, who hails from Brisbane, immediately took to life at the club like someone who had played here all his life. It wasn’t just his performances on the pitch that endeared him so much to his teammates as ‘Coxy’ became a big part of the club during his years of service which included coaching some of the junior players. You may have spotted a signed shirt from Mat on display in the pavilion.
After a few years away from the club we decided to catch up with him to chat about his memories of the club and to find out what he’s up to now back home.
How did the move to Dartford come about?
Since I was a young boy playing cricket in the UK was always a dream of mine. I never expected anything to come off but I got chatting to someone in Brisbane who had links to cricket clubs in England. Dartford immediately stood out to me after a bit of research and from there I got chatting to the club - the rest is history!
What were your best memories during your time at Dartford?
In actual fact some of my best memories are off the cricket pitch! We had lots of great nights out with some great characters and the atmosphere with the boys in the old pavilion was just fantastic.
On the field there’s a couple of moments that stand out: Des Bailey knocking over Broadstairs single-handedly with figures of 8/12 was pretty special to watch especially as it was my last game of my first season – what a way to finish! I also can’t go past my best bowling figures (15 overs, 8 maidens, 8-21) against Tenterden and my first hundred; even if it was a wet Sunday using borrowed gear as mine hadn’t arrived yet!
How much did you enjoy working with the younger players at the club?
Coaching is something I have always loved. It’s always great to be able to give back to the game that has given me so much over the years. Jim Lowrie (chairman of the club at the time) was always willing to listen to anything I wanted to do. I really enjoyed coaching the Under 16’s on Friday nights and the Monday night coaching sessions and I just hope I was able to help progress some of the juniors at the club.
What do you make of the new pavilion?
I love it! I think it’s an amazing facility and everyone should remember how lucky they are to play there. The experience to even train there for some of the younger members of the club is special in itself. I only wish my time at the club was a little later and I got to be a part of it!
What are you up to now back home?
In between my first and second seasons at Dartford I studied and got my Personal Training Certificate and have recently opened up my own business. I’ve spent the last 4 years as a Personal Trainer before taking the big leap at the start of the year by opening my own facility. I spend a lot of time these days growing my business and saving up to travel to the UK again.
Are you still playing much cricket?
Unfortunately not as my body gave way to a back injury after my last season in 2014/15. I play the odd game here and there but have taken on coaching roles in a more serious capacity. I am now lucky enough to be coaching the First XI at my old school.
Do you still keep an eye on the club?
I definitely still keep an eye on how things are going and I’m always checking the scores! I’m still in touch with some of the guys and I’m looking forward to seeing them again when I hopefully return to the UK at some point.
The club would like to wish Mat all the best, until the 2019 Ashes of course, and look forward to welcoming him back to Hesketh Park in the near future.