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Graeme Welch chats to derbyshireccc.com about the last seven days at the County Ground as John Sadler begins his first week as Batting Coach and the squad prepare for their first yoga session on Friday.
Graeme Welch says he has been pleased with the squad’s work ethic as preparations for the new campaign intensify.
This week has seen the introduction of competitive batting and bowling sessions inside the cricket hall at the County Ground as the squad practice match situations in preparation for the new season.
Elite Performance Coach John Sadler has also spent his first seven days with the squad, observing and adding his input during training sessions.
“John Sadler has come in this week. He knows a few of the lads but not in a coaching capacity so he is just observing and trying to get to know them,” Welch said.
Pace bowler Mark Footitt is hoping to build on his successful 2013 campaign and become a mainstay in all forms this summer.
The left-arm fast-bowler enjoyed the best season of his career in 2013 taking 42 first-class wickets and a further 15 dismissals in the limited-overs forms of the game.
His 6 for 53 against champions Durham and 5 for 28 against Scotland were career-best performances in First Class and List A cricket respectively.
Footitt is now hoping a good winter programme will give him the confidence to kick on this summer as Derbyshire push for honours across all three domestic competitions.
“I’m looking forward to the new season and I want to build on what I did last year,” he said.
Derbyshire County Cricket Club has announced its Second XI fixtures for the 2014 season – including two matches at the County Ground.
Derbyshire will begin the season by hosting Leicestershire in a four-day friendly on Monday 7th April, before entertaining Worcestershire in their first competitive fixture on Tuesday 29th April.
The County Ground, Derby, will host two Second XI fixtures - a one-day game on Monday 11th August and a Championship fixture starting on Tuesday 12th August both against Warwickshire.
Elite Performance Coach John Sadler will take over the Second XI coaching duties this summer after joining the Club earlier this month as part of the new elite coaching team.
All Second XI venues and start times will be confirmed in the coming months.
Graeme Welch says the current crop of Derbyshire Academy graduates are amongst the best he’s worked with.
The new Elite Performance Director has now been in the job four weeks and he has noticed exceptional potential in those produced by the Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby.
Welch worked with England internationals Chris Woakes and Boyd Rankin at Warwickshire. But he believes the talent at the County Ground has the potential to surpass his former county.
“We’ve got some talented young players in the squad and I’ve been very impressed with the Academy graduates on the staff,” Welch said.
“There’s probably more talent here than what I had to work with at Warwickshire.
ECB coaching boss Gordon Lord says the new Elite Cricket Performance structure could lead to significant improvements in Derbyshire’s on-field performances.
The governing body’s Head of Elite Coach Development, who spearheaded their own similar elite coaching model, believes the county will also realise its ambition to produce England cricketers.
He said: “The way Derbyshire have put together a team of elite coaches to work across the pathway is extremely exciting,” Lord said.
“It’s also very encouraging in terms the way Derbyshire County Cricket Club and the Derbyshire Cricket Board will develop talent in the future. This is the most systematic way I’ve seen that will give young players the best possible opportunity to break into the first-class game.
All-rounder Wes Durston discusses Derbyshire's new intense - but rewarding - training regime and looks ahead to the Club’s pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi in his latest Player Blog.
So January has gone and we are now only two months away from the first competitive game of the season at the County Ground.
January has quickly flown by thanks to the intense training regime. It’s been hard but certainly awarding for all. It's hard to think that we were introduced to Graham Welch, our new Elite Cricket Performance Director, only four weeks ago.
The atmosphere around the ground has been very positive, mainly due to the fact that everybody is training very hard both in fitness and their technical game, and we're all looking forward to the fast approaching 2014 season.
We've also started our high-intensity fielding practices, with the help of new Fielding Coach Cookie Patel. We began with a very intense week of 7am starts. Each day we focused on a different aspect of fielding and over the week we managed to cover short, medium and longer catches, diving catches, pick-ups and throwing techniques - and some specialist work for the wicketkeepers too – so overall it was a very beneficial five-day block.
Chairman Chris Grant says the new elite cricket coaching team will help Derbyshire become a force in domestic cricket.
The Club added John Sadler, Ant Botha, Simon Guy and Cookie Patel to its backroom team this week to support Elite Cricket Performance Director Graeme Welch.
Stephen Stubbings and AJ Harris, meanwhile, have both also been retained as part of the new structure.
Grant says this unprecedented investment in coaching will give Derbyshire the best chance of fulfilling its ambition for sustainable success across all three domestic competitions.
He said: “I’m confident that the elite coaching team we have assembled to support Graeme will, for the first time, give Derbyshire a genuine chance of becoming a force in domestic cricket.
Graeme Welch has thanked Members for their support after Derbyshire saw Membership soar by over 36% during the last seven days.
Supporters responded in impressive numbers to recent rallying calls with over 230 Adult Members joining during the last week alone – 24 of which were new Members. In total, 54 new Members have joined for 2014.
This means the current Membership revenue is up 84% compared to the same date in 2012. The Club has now also attained almost 80% of its overall 2014 Membership budget, ahead of the 2013 budget on the corresponding date last year.
An additional 16 members, meanwhile, on top of the 88 from last year have become Ambassadors and received £50 cash back by recruiting new Members on behalf of the Club.
The surge in Membership numbers follows a recent rallying call to make a pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi possible and the buzz created by the appointment Welch and the subsequent implementation of an Elite Cricket Performance culture.
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