Newly appointed Derbyshire committee member Kevin Dean has emphasised the importance of nurturing young players – both for the future of the Club and in the hope of unearthing a future international.
The 36-year-old spent his entire career with Derbyshire, making his first-class debut in 1996 and retiring in 2008.
Dean claimed over 400 wickets during that time and now captains Derbyshire Premier League champions Ockbrook and Borrowash.
Now he has returned to the County Ground in a new committee role in which he hopes to find new young talent from within the county that can help Derbyshire build a successful future.
“We want to produce quality talent and we have to spot that talent and nurture it,” Dean said.
“Over the last ten years we have chosen the easier option and signed more established experienced heads, now the committee has decided this is the road we are going down now.
“With more local players we will have more supporters as people will know the players. People know Tom Knight, people know Ross Whiteley, supporters will bring the family down and overall it will be good for the club.
“I spoke to Chris Grant about Derbyshire’s aims. They are to win something and to produce the first Derbyshire and England player since Dominic Cork.
“It is quite a difficult task, if we have an England player in the side then the team must be doing well, so the two things almost go hand in hand.
“We have to be playing in the top flight, with a low budget and the one way to get round that is with a good young side.
“It would be brilliant if it paid off and we got into Division One with a young local side. There are great facilities, gym, nets and everything you need to be a good professional cricketer. It is a great time to be a Derbyshire player.”
Dean has been impressed by the current crop of Derbyshire players and he believes overseas players Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja will make a big difference as they return for a second season with the county.
“The side have obviously done well and stabilised themselves in Division Two,” he said. “We have good, young, exciting overseas players in Martin Guptill and Usman Khawaja who obviously had a good time last year and are looking forward to coming back. Both will have a positive impact on the side.
“Ross Whiteley has had a good winter in Australia and some of the lads are now over in India, so it is all there for the lads to do it. They just have to get the experience and put in the performances. If they stick together it will come.
“It is easy to just throw kids into the thick of it and just watch them fail. But we want to nurture the young talent and - when they are ready - allow them to show their potential out in the middle and then you will find out if they are up to it.”
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