Billy Godleman says Derbyshire have a great opportunity in the first weeks of the season when they face two of the Specsavers County Championship Division Two favourites.
Speaking to BBC Radio Derby, the Captain highlighted the visit of Middlesex and the trip to Edgbaston to face Warwickshire as two key fixtures in the four-day format, before the squad turn their attention to the Royal London One-Day Cup.
He said: “It’s a great opportunity to play two of the big boys in the division within the first few weeks. To host Middlesex in the first game and a trip to Edgbaston in the first month is a great opportunity to pit our wits against big opposition.
“I don’t have set preferences in mind when it comes to the fixture list and we don’t play every team twice. It’s about us making sure we use our time over the winter to prepare for that first game against Middlesex.
“Having played County Cricket for a long time now, there have been periods previously where you had to change formats a lot more regularly than you do now. I think the way the 50-over competition is blocked at the start of the summer and then the T20 Blast later on, with the Championship either side, is an advantage as you can prepare and get focused for the format you’re involved in at that time.”
Derbyshire return to Chesterfield in July for the Custom Solar Chesterfield Festival of Cricket, in association with Chesterfield Borough Council and after capacity crowds in 2017, Godleman is expecting more good support at Queen’s Park.
He added: “It’s a fantastic place to play cricket. The wicket is really conducive for a result and generally leads to an interesting game to take part in and for spectators.
“The Derbyshire supporters north of the county and in Chesterfield get behind the team and are vocal and we really feel like we have a home advantage up there.
“It’s early stages of pre-season at the moment and I think it’s really important for the Club to recruit wisely as we continue to plan for the new season. We’re looking at replacing Jeevan Mendis as the overseas player for the start of the season with a fast bowler who can bat.
“Hopefully this takes shape over the next few months, but for the squad it is about continuing to develop our skills so that we are ready come to first game of the season against Middlesex.”
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