Tony Palladino will enter his eighth season with the Club in April and despite having a role off the field as player coach, the 34-year-old still has the desire to make an impact out in the middle.
It is the second season in which the experienced seamer will take on the role and the added responsibility of developing young players is something which motivates him off the field. But with 269 first-class wickets to his name with Derbyshire, he sees no reason why he cannot contribute with the ball this summer.
Palladino said: “I really do enjoy it and it is something that as I get older I will expand when I stop playing.
“It is a lot of work, but is something which I am really enjoying with the added responsibility and helping the professional staff and the Academy, working with the players we have coming through the ranks.
“I’m really keen to have a good year as a player and hopefully help us win some games, that is still my priority and making sure I am fit and firing to do my job there.”
Known for relentless spells of accurate bowling and building pressure to take wickets, Palladino admits his game is based around experience and outwitting batsmen, as opposed to raw pace through the air.
He said: “I’ve never had much pace to work with, so losing a bit of pace is not a massive issue. I’ve always thought about what I’m doing with the ball, movement and assessing the conditions to be smart with what I am doing with the ball.
“I’ve done that throughout my career and I am always learning, and you have to keep learning as the game moves on else you will get found out quickly.
“I try and press this upon our bowlers who I am coaching, to make sure they are learning and watching what a batsman is doing and looking to improve every coaching session to make sure they are getting something out of it.”
The tricky bowler is now learning as much about coaching techniques as he is about his own game, but he believes the two go hand-in-hand and young players can benefit from taking time to study their bowling.
He added: “I’m not just learning how to coach, but also learning about my own game and areas I can improve and how I can do that.
“I’ve always been a cricket scholar and I like studying things like that, but coaching has definitely helped me educate myself even more and I encourage all our young bowlers to actually study and do their badges, but also to do their preparation so we’re going into games with no stone left unturned.
“You give yourself a much better chance of executing plans if you are familiar with them and study them beforehand as a team.”
With a bolstered pace attack and the emergence of a number of batsmen in 2017, Palladino is aiming towards the top of the Specsavers County Championship table, with the Club’s aim to consistently take 20 wickets and improve performances at home.
He said: “We won’t be going into the season looking to finish in the bottom half. We are setting the bar high and want to win games of cricket.
“We also owe the supporters some wins at home and that is something we are definitely looking to do and hopefully we will have the firepower to bowl sides out twice, which is what we need to do to win games of cricket.”
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