As the new Elite Performance model at the County Ground continues to take shape, Derbyshire County Cricket Club has stepped up its ambition to secure a potential pre-season tour in Abu Dhabi.
It is, however, reliant on the financial backing from supporters and local business partners.
As new Elite Cricket Performance Director Graeme Welch plots for a successful season, he is hoping to take the squad to the United Arab Emirates in March where they would train and play competitive fixtures at the state of the art Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium.
As well as the matches themselves, Abu Dhabi would provide a warm-weather backdrop to the intense regime of Elite Performance Training that is already preparing Derbyshire for the 2014 campaign.
Watch wicketkeeper-batsman Richard Johnson as he chats to DerbyshireTV about the first few weeks under the new Elite Cricket Performance structure.
Elite Cricket Performance Director Graeme Welch was quick to lay down an early marker of professionalism and hard work, introducing 7am starts as part a packed training schedule.
Johnson – who previously worked with Welch during his time at Warwickshire – says the squad are already “buzzing” after just two weeks under the new structure.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club has signed a two-year deal with sportswear brand Samurai to be the official kit supplier from the 2014 season.
The new partnership see’s Samurai Sportswear supply all Derbyshire playing and training kits, as well as Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby and Derbyshire Cricket Board age groups.
The designs for the three new kits will be released in the run up to the start of the new season, with replica kits and leisurewear products available to purchase from the Club Shop and online at derbyshireccc.com.
Commenting on the new partnership Mike Humble, Samurai Sales Director, said: “To be given the opportunity to expand our professional cricket portfolio with Derbyshire is fantastic and we are excited to welcome Derbyshire County Cricket Club to the Samurai family.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club has received almost 50 applications for the vacant Elite Cricket Performance Coaches positions.
Since the appointment of Graeme Welch as the county’s first Elite Cricket Performance Director, the Club has been seeking highly-motivated and successful coaches to join the team.
Interest has been received from across the world from coaches wishing to be part of an exciting new era at Derbyshire under the new Elite Cricket Performance structure.
A robust and professional interview process is now underway and the new structure is due to be fully in place by the end of January.
Welch said: “We’re delighted with the number and quality of applications received for the coaching roles.
Graeme Welch says supporters getting behind the Club is “massive” for the Derbyshire players as they prepare for the new season with an intense programme of Elite Performance Training.
The new Elite Performance Director says Members and supporters voting with their feet during the Club’s current Membership campaign will provide just the inspiration needed during their tough schedule.
“It’s massive that people get behind us and what we’re trying to achieve,” he said.
“I’ll be sharing the Membership and ticket numbers with the squad as we go through pre-season.
“It will show them just how much support is out there – and that the people that matter are rooting for them - as they work harder than ever to prepare for the new season.
Captain Wayne Madsen says the squad is “buzzing” after completing their first week of 7am Elite Cricket Performance training.
Graeme Welch was quick to lay down an early marker of professionalism and hard work last week.
And the players are now settling into its new routine which consists of high intensity specialist batting, bowling, fielding and strength and conditioning sessions in preparation for the new season.
Madsen says it’s been a tough but enjoyable week, but he insists this is just the start.
“The lads reacted magnificently last week,” the Derbyshire Captain said. “It was tough, but everyone worked hard and I’m sure we’ll reap the benefits.
Paceman Tim Groenewald says he’s already seen a big difference in the players’ attitudes under the new Elite Cricket Performance structure.
Elite Performance Director Graeme Welch was quick to lay down an early marker of professionalism and hard work, introducing 7am starts as part a packed training schedule.
Groenewald says he’s already noticed a change in the approach to training under the new model and insists this will hold them in good stead come April.
“I think the guys were a bit apprehensive at first, but they all bought into the idea quite quickly and got cracking,” Groenewald said.
Fast bowler Mark Footitt says the first week under the new Elite Cricket Performance structure has been one of his hardest ever.
Graeme Welch was recently installed as the Club’s first Elite Cricket Performance Director – and he has begun by introducing 7am training sessions.
Leading women’s ECB fielding coach Cookie Patel has held early morning fielding practices to start off jam-packed days of pre-season training.
Footitt - who signed a new two-year deal at the end of the 2013 season despite interest from other counties - says it’s been a tough but productive week; a sign for things to come under the new regime.
“I think Friday will be the hardest day we’ve ever have coming at the end of such a gruelling week,” Footitt said. “But we can’t complain, it’s been a good week and it will hold us all in good stead come April.
Watch the Derbyshire squad as they take part in Elite Performance fielding and fitness training at the County Ground early this morning.
Players and coaching staff have been in at 7am all this week participating training sessions focussed largely on fitness as well as coaching from ECB’s Lead Fielding Coach for Women’s Cricket, Cookie Patel.
This morning, the squad were put through their paces by Elite Cricket Performance Director Graeme Welch as they completed running, fielding and catching drills as Derbyshire gear-up preparations for the forthcoming 2014 campaign.
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