Tim Groenewald says Derbyshire’s first year back in Division One was a valuable experience and will hold them in good stead as they push for promotion next season.
The 29-year-old led the seam attack in 2013 picking up 45 first-class wickets – including three five-wicket hauls – in a stand-out LV= County Championship campaign.
His efforts, however, were unable to keep Derbyshire in the top flight for a second year as defeat in the final fixture to Warwickshire confirmed relegation.
“It’s disappointing to go down after a long season,” Groenewald said.
“But to have that experience in Division One and letting our youngsters experience that sort of cricket was certainly valuable - and something the guys will never forget.
“The three wins we picked up were against teams that have been competing at the top of table. A lot of promoted team just get the odd victory in their first season back - we managed to get three.
“The experience the guys have gained this year will definitely help.
“I don’t think they actually realise the strength of the opposition in Division One and the guys we were up against. All the lads will be so much better from the experience.”
Groenewald was delighted to pick up the LV= County Championship Player of the Year award at the Club’s annual Awards Evening after the paceman led the seam attack to three victories during Derbyshire’s first year back in the top tier for over a decade.
“I’m really delighted,” he added. “It’s a bit of a reward for putting in the hard work over the season.
“Leading the attack in those three wins will be my personal highlights from the year.
“We had very inexperienced bowling attacks at Hove and at home against Middlesex. So leading the attack, getting those wins against two very good sides and helping the young guys was special.
“We all put in a lot of hard work last season and it wasn’t just on the field.
“Now the hard works starts again. Over the winter months we will be getting physically fit and strong ahead of the new season.
“I know the guys are already looking forward to getting back and hopefully be fighting it out at the top next year as we push for promotion back to Division One.”
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