In the second part of an extended interview with Derbyshire’s Head of Cricket, Dave Houghton outlines his plans to develop home grown players into the first team alongside an experienced core.
With a winter to work with the Derbyshire squad, Houghton believes the Club has a strong group of players which need to be backed up by a developing group of home-grown youngsters.
He said: “We’ve got a very good core of eight or nine and we get the opportunity to build around that with good signings, overseas players and youngsters coming through.
“We’ve got to make sure there’s a decent sized squad to effectively compete on all three fronts.
“Coming to face Derbyshire with Middlesex this summer, they played fantastically against us. If that team could have continued and been strong enough to play like that all the way through they would have been promoted.
“But there wasn’t the support and they ran out of steam.
“They were always there competing, but I think it was clear they just ran out of a bit of puff.
“We will look at a couple of loanees, but we need to up-skill our youngsters. If you recruit you can often block the path for youngsters and we’ve got some good youngsters coming through.
“They need to opportunity to play first team and they need to be good enough to play a supporting role throughout the season.
“I also think having Luis Reece back fully fit and playing in all formats will make quite a big difference to the side.”
The experienced coach highlighted the recent development of players to come through into the Derbyshire first team, including the likes of Harvey Hosein and Alex Hughes, believing they are key alongside marquee overseas signings to compliment the set-up.
Houghton added: “They’re both highly experienced although they’re not old. They’ve scored hundreds and come through the system. They’re role models and are proof that the system works.
“There’s a lot of talk of Duanne Olivier and how well he played last season. He’s a magnificent bowler and we’ve already had a conversation with his agent. The unfortunate part is that he was exposed by playing with us last year and he now has interest from a whole heap of counties.
“I’ve obviously got irons in the fire in other directions. We’re looking for a fast bowler and if he happens to be an all-rounder then that’s a bonus.”
Houghton will be supported by Head of Development Mal Loye and a new Bowling Coach, with the Head of Cricket keen for all three to have a hands-on role throughout the cricket set-up, from the Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby through to the first team.
He said: “As a coaching team we will work together in all areas. All three of us will coach in the Academy, all three of us will take turns in operating the second team and we’ll all operate the first team from time to time.
“This keeps a freshness and the whole squad can see the importance and keep a togetherness. I want us to be up-to-speed with every player and every player to feel they are given equal time with coaches.
“I’m not going to be first team batting coach, I’m going to be Head of Cricket. But I will be there and available for anyone who needs advice from me.”
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