Head Coach Karl Krikken says Derbyshire’s young side will be better off after experiencing their first season in the top flight for more than a decade.
After a difficult start to the 2013 campaign, Wayne Madsen’s men produced a spirited fightback in the second half of the season claiming back-to-back victories over Sussex and Middlesex, before clinching a nail-biting win at Taunton against Somerset.
But despite claiming three victories, defeat to Warwickshire at the County Ground on the penultimate day of the season confirmed the side’s relegation from Division One.
Krikken, however, is confident his side can take the positives from the campaign and bounce straight back next year.
“I definitely think we will be better off after experiencing Division One cricket,” he said.
“We have come a long way this year from the early defeats to Nottinghamshire and Yorkshire and in the end came within a few points of staying up.
“You can look back at certain results. There was the game against Somerset here when we should probably have won and the game against Surrey down there we should definitely have won. But it’s been key sessions when we have lost eight or nine wickets or sides have put on 200 that cost us.
“But, nevertheless, we remain together and we move forward together.
“We can still take a lot of positives from this season. We put in some magnificent performances this year and have ended up with three wins – more than Surrey and Nottinghamshire, and the same as Somerset.
“The lads have worked hard and given 100 per cent all season, and that's all you can ask. It’s now onwards and upwards from here as we continue to build a side capable of competing at the highest level.
“We now have a couple of weeks off before we are back in November working hard to prepare for next year.”
Mark Footitt signed a new two-year contract committing him to the Club until 2015 early this week, and Krikken was delighted to keep the 27-year-old at the County Ground.
“It’s tremendous that Mark is staying with us,” he added. “He’s been the find of the season really. He’s come on amazingly. At the start of the season, we were wondering if he was going to play again but he worked hard with Jamie Pipe to get fit and AJ Harris has got his radar right.
“He is a work in progress and I’m glad he feels he can keep making progress at Derby.
“We need to keep hold of players like Mark in the face of competition from other counties if we are going to continue to develop as a Club.
“We were bottom when we took over two and a half years ago and finished fifth in half a season, then we finished top and we will finish eighth here. That’s progress but we have to keep going and keep working hard.”
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