Whatever happened to ... Martyn Croy

Harry, Martyn, Arthur and Charlie Croy and Jacinta Cooney relax at their home in Christchurch....
Harry, Martyn, Arthur and Charlie Croy and Jacinta Cooney relax at their home in Christchurch. PHOTO: SUPPLIED
Our semi-regular series where Otago Daily Times sports writers catch up with past Otago sporting stars resumes. This month, Adrian Seconi talks to former Otago keeper Martyn Croy.

Then ...

Martyn Croy made his way south from Hamilton in 1994 hoping the move would lead to an opportunity to play for Otago.

He had played alongside former Volts top-order batsman Robbie Lawson in the New Zealand under-19 team earlier that year.

It was Lawson who suggested he move south. Otago was looking for a quality gloveman and Croy hoped to fill the vacancy.

"I took that opportunity and was fortunate enough to get selected the year I came down and it just flowed on from there," the 44-year-old said.

He made what was an impressive debut against Central Districts in Napier in December, batting at first drop and scoring 61. He also picked up six catches to help the Volts win by an innings and 12 runs.

He went on to play 42 first-class games for his adopted province.

While he would be the first to admit he did not deliver on the early potential he showed with the bat, his glove work was tremendous and he earned selection as the backup keeper for New Zealand's tour of England in 1999.

Croy the batsman scrambles to make his ground in a one-day game at Molyneux Park in Alexandra....
Croy the batsman scrambles to make his ground in a one-day game at Molyneux Park in Alexandra. The Wellington fieldsman is Richard Petrie.PHOTOS: ODT FILES
New Zealand recorded a historic test series win and, for Croy, being part of that environment was a highlight.

When he retired from playing in 2002, he had scored 1351 first-class runs for Otago at an average of 20.46. He also grabbed 127 catches and made four stumpings.

He remained in Dunedin after hanging up the gloves and worked for the Otago Academy of Sport and then High Performance Sport New Zealand.

His enduring memories are mostly from off the park.

"What struck me was the quality of the people. They were very supportive, warm and friendly. I just found it to be like a second home."

Now ...

Life is still busy and still full of sport. Croy has remained working in the high performance industry since shifting to Christchurch.

He moved north six weeks before the 2010 earthquake.

"Fortunately for us, we weren't affected too badly from a property damage perspective," he said.

"In hindsight, it was actually not a bad thing for us in terms of integrating into the community. The earthquake was a shared experience and all of a sudden you had this affinity with every single person on the street.

"That was pretty much all conversations were about for two years and made the transition easy."

Croy and his wife, Jacinta Cooney (44), have three sons - twins Harry and Charlie (12) and Arthur (8).

Croy finished up with High Performance Sport New Zealand in 2016 and is now working as an independent consultant.

A big part of his job is working with Paralympics New Zealand. He oversees the para cycling and shooting programmes.

He has also got back involved in wicketkeeping coaching for New Zealand Cricket and has been helping the likes of Tom Blundell and Tim Seifert.

"I only get to see the guys on a semi-regular basis. But the time does afford the opportunity to provide them with another set of eyes. Ultimately the players need to be their own coaches. If I can facilitate the process, then I feel I'm doing my job."

Otago wicketkeeper Martyn Croy watches the ball off the bat of Wellington batsman Matthew Bell in...
Otago wicketkeeper Martyn Croy watches the ball off the bat of Wellington batsman Matthew Bell in a match at Carisbrook in Dunedin.
Croy has kept a close eye on Otago's progress since leaving the province and feels for the side.

The Volts first-class team will be missing six players from last summer, including wicketkeeper Derek de Boorder, who has moved to Wellington and is focusing on life after cricket.

It will be a young side and not unlike the one Croy joined when he made the move south from Hamilton 24 years ago.

"You have to look at it like a massive opportunity. But with that youth comes the expectation that they are going to need some time to develop and grow.

"But in saying that, you can't have all the time under the sun because high-performance sport is time-bound. People want to see results pretty quickly and if you're not getting results, then there is always consequences.

"They have to learn as quickly as they can."

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