CRICKHOWELL cricketer Mark Wallace has been appointed as director of cricket for Glamorgan the county championship side he made 230 consecutive appearances for.

He succeeds chief executive Hugh Morris, who relinquished the position at the end of last season, when the Welsh county finished at the bottom of Division 2, which resulted in Robert Croft, their previous head coach, leaving the club.

The former Crickhowell High School student, who made his debut for Glamorgan as a 17-year-old in 1999, spent his professional career with the Sophia Gardens outfit.

Over 17 years the wicketkeeper/batsmen scored 11,519 first class runs and claimed 759 victims. He announced his retirement just ahead of the 2017 season and will now turn his attention to trying to help turn around the side’s fortunes.

Wallace, who is a past chairman of the players’ body the PCA, and also worked there for a couple of years following his retirement, has been at his new post for seven weeks, and admits: ”It’s certainly a different job to anything I’ve been involved in. It’s going to be challenging, especially after last season, where we encountered problems on and off the field. Apart from a couple of new signings, we are basically the same squad, and we need to show more consistency."

The club have signed Marius Labuschange, who played five tests for Australia last winter, Charlie Hemphrey, who after being rejected by three English counties early in his career has developed as a solid top order batsman for Queensland, and Billy Root- brother of England captain Joe. It’s hoped the trio that should stabilise the middle order.

Labuschange has signed for the first half of the summer, with Shaun Marsh, if not required for the Ashes series, set to return after the World Cup.

The squad recently spent 10 days at the La Manga Sporting complex in Spain, playing three 50 over games against Gloucestershire, and were resoundingly beaten in every game.

"One should never make too many assumptions regarding pre- season games”, says Wallace, "some players were missing, there are experiments taking place while ironically last spring, we went to Dubai and defeated both Surrey and Lancashire, before returning to experience a dismal summer."

When Wallace was playing his second championship game for Glamorgan against Yorkshire at Headingley in 1999, after being collected en route outside his school’s gates, his captain Matthew Maynard passed 20,000 first class runs.

Now roles have been reversed, with Wallace overseeing Maynard, who was appointed interim head coach following Croft’s departure.

"It was a no brainer really”, says Wallace, "when someone with Matt’s experience both as a former club captain and coach became available”.

“It’s a bit of an Ole Gunnar Solskjaer scenario”, joked Wallace referencing the former striker’s successful return to Manchester United as coach, initially on an interim basis.

"We will assess the situation at the end of the season, and if everything has gone well, then Matt will obviously be a candidate for the post full time”.

Wallace is mindful that Glamorgan represents a country, and although he would like to see plenty of Welsh born players in the team insisted: “they have to earn their place.”

Glamorgan have had to recruit this season in order to strengthen the squad and would like to replicate Surrey “who have the perfect mix of outstanding overseas players and others who have graduated from their successful academy.”

Wallace and Glamorgan’s first challenge will get underway on April 11, when Northants visit Sophia Gardens.