Name:  Keith Greenfield

My job title: Performance Director at Sussex Cricket

How I got the job… I started on a youth training scheme, in December 1985, studying Cricket and Groundsmanship, and this contained a BTEC in Leisure Centre management. I became a successful cricket player until 2000 and, at that point, moved to coaching within our professional teams at Sussex and at the Academy. From there I moved into my role as Performance Director at Sussex. During these years I obtained all the current ECB coaching certificates up to the highest obtainable Level 4, as well as completing a two-year elite management course at Bradford Management Centre in association with the ECB. In January 2016 I became the first director of cricket at Sussex Cricket and that title in 2019 changed to performance director.

My position in a nutshell… I oversee the men’s professional cricket players and support staff, Sussex women’s senior team, and both boys’ and girls’ academies and junior county elite development pathways – and any logistical need to those programs. I also manage the head groundsman and his ground-staff team and county ground activity, and have responsibility to follow the clubs’ strategy and control and run the associated budgets.

My typical day… Is very diverse – anything that our men’s and women’s teams require now and ahead, including: organising fixtures, grounds, facilities, flats, flights, travel plans for team and overseas players, Visas, contract negotiations, staff appraisals.

For the boys’ and girls’ academies – organising the pathway players program content and organising fixtures, kit, staff members, equipment and facilities, contracts and job descriptions, etc. Also I ensure we have accommodation for players moving around.

My most memorable moment… As a player it was getting my county cap – it was a great moment knowing that I had progressed and got that far, and it had been recognised. From the coaching side – when Sussex Cricket won their first county championship in 2003.

The best part of my job… I love my job; I love coming to work and working for Sussex Cricket. The best part is when you succeed in a project, or offer a staff or a player a contract. It’s great knowing that you are starting someone off on the pathway that they want to go on, which hopefully is playing for England. Another great part is to see players go on and represent their country, or a staff member going on to international cricket. Winning games and getting trophies is what we are here to do so that’s great, but winning as a team is especially great.

The worst part of my job… When we are releasing a player or a member of staff, particularly when you have worked with that person for a long period of time. You need to learn good interpersonal skills and empathy for this.

The key skills/attributes needed in your role… Adaptability, because things change so quickly. Be open minded and open to learning, be able to problem solve by yourself but also be able to work in a team. You need to be able to listen and take on ideas from others.

Advice for someone looking to go into something similar… Preparation is essential for anything; you’re never too old to learn; and asking for help is not a weakness, it’s a strength; and understanding and getting comfortable with the fact that change is always happening, so learning to move with it. For anyone who is not sure about how to deal with change, read a book called ‘Who Moved My Cheese’ and that will give you a good idea of how you see change and how you deal with it.