ETA Northerns Head Coach
A product of Kingswood College in Grahamstown, Mark Charlton played at the highest level of club cricket for both the University of Port Elizabeth and Pretoria High School Old Boys, appearing in six National Club Championships as a top-order batsman and occasional seam bowler.
He was a member of the Eastern Province B training squad but did not manage to win a first-class cap. Having a passion for coaching, when Charlton moved to Pretoria in 2004 with his soon-to-be wife, he took up a position assisting former South Africa wicketkeeper Denis Lindsay with Pretoria High School Boys. When he took over from Lindsay on a full-time basis, it ushered in a period of great success for PHSOB as they won the Premier League twice.
Charlton was appointed Northerns Seniors Head Coach in 2011 and he steered the team to a pair of both 3-day and one-day titles as well as winning the inaugural Africa Cup T20 competition in 2015.
He won Cricket South Africa’s Provincial Coach of the Year award in 2015/16.
Just as important as the trophies are the number of players who have passed through Charlton’s hands and developed into top-class cricketers, including Standard Bank Proteas Heinrich Klaasen, Aiden Markram and Lungi Ngidi, and Titans stars like Shaun von Berg. But Charlton says the progress of someone like pace bowler Alfred Mothoa, who first started playing cricket as a 14-year-old in Hammanskraal and is now a contracted Titans regular, gives him the most satisfaction.
The Level IV coach, of which there are not many more than a dozen in South Africa, is now the Titans’ High Performance Manager and has a key role to play in ensuring a smooth flow of talent through the franchise’s pipeline, which includes Northerns, Easterns, Limpopo and Mpumalanga. He has to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the system, do talent identification and does a lot of scouring around the country, as well as skills development and mentorship. His influence extends through the U19 and Academy teams to the Multiply Titans when needed.