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Derbyshire’s new elite cricket coaching team unveiled

EliteCoachingTeamGraeme Welch says Derbyshire’s new coaching setup signals the Club’s long-term ambition. 

The Club has added John Sadler, Simon Guy, Cookie Patel and Ant Botha to its backroom team as investment in coaching increases to unprecedented levels.

Existing coaches Stephen Stubbings and AJ Harris are also retained having successfully emerged from a rigorous recruitment process.

The new structure ensures an elite performance coaching resource in each of the key disciplines; batting, seam bowling, spin bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping.

All the coaching team will play a major part in professional squad coaching as well as lending their expertise to home-grown cricketers aiming to breakthrough into the first-class game from the Academy and County Age Groups.

Graeme Welch, the Elite Cricket Performance Director, will lead on seam bowling and will be supported by Harris, who will also have a special focus on Academy development.

John Sadler, who has established his own highly respected Coaching Academy based in Yorkshire and is one of the most promising young ECB Level 4 Coaches in the country, is the new Batting Coach. He will be supported by Stubbings in the Academy focussed batting role.

Ant Botha, meanwhile, has been lured back from his grade cricket coaching position in Australia where he has established an impressive reputation. He will take the lead working with Derbyshire’s extensive spin bowling group as well as assisting with coaching batsmen.

ECB Lead Women’s Fielding Coach Cookie Patel, who has set the tone under the new Elite Performance model with his high-intensity fielding sessions, will continue to be engaged as a specialist Fielding Coach. 

And the theme of ECB endorsed coaches continues with the appointment of Simon Guy, another Level 4 Coach who has worked extensively within the England setup, as specialist Wicketkeeping Coach.

Howard Dytham, James Pipe and Jamie Tallent remain in their roles as Academy Director, Lead Physiotherapist and Strength and Conditioning Coach respectively. 

An Elite Performance Analyst (EPA) will be added from a 60 strong list of applicants in the coming days. The EPA will provide statistical and video analysis both on opposition and Derbyshire cricketers as the Club welcomes a more analytical approach to coaching.

Welch said: “The new elite performance coaching structure shows our long-term ambition.

“We’re delighted with the calibre of coaches we’ve been able to attract and it’s notable that our management and support team now boasts a combined total of way over 700 first-class appearances.

“Every member of the elite coaching team has earned their place. They’re all leaders within their disciplines and will bring great knowledge and expertise to the team.

“As well as welcoming four top-class new coaches, it’s also been great to see the progress of Steve Stubbings and AJ Harris since I’ve been here.

“They’ve earned their positions on merit, against strong applicants, and are a valuable part of what’s now a well resourced coaching team.

“It will give our players, from grassroots right through to the professional game, the best possible preparation and support.”

Chairman Chris Grant added: “After a rigorous recruitment process - including internal, external, UK and overseas candidates - we believe we’ve got the best team for the job.

“We were delighted with the number of applicants and the quality of candidates we attracted, demonstrating the wide-reaching impact of our new Elite Performance structure.

“Everything will be fully in place with all the coaches in position by mid February when the hard work will continue as we aim for success on the field – and also furthering our ambition to produce England cricketers.”

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