After taking 51 first-class wickets in 2018, Derbyshire bowler Tony Palladino is hungry to keep progressing and now looks forward to working with Assistant & Bowling Coach Steve Kirby.
The Club announced experienced former seamer Kirby as Assistant & Bowling Coach after a highly successful period as Head Coach of the MCC.
He is set to join up with Dave Houghton and the playing staff in early November and Palladino is excited to get working with the passionate and knowledgeable coach ahead of what he hopes will be another lucrative season with the ball.
He said: “I think it’s a major coup for the Club to get someone with the profile of Kirbs. I know what sort of competitor he was when I played against him and I know he’ll bring that spirit and energy to the coaching staff.
“A full-time bowling coach is exactly what was needed. I was trying to do both jobs in terms of coaching and playing still, but it wasn’t quite working.
“I had a good chat with Houghts and he said at this stage in my career he wants me 100% focused on playing, which is what I want too at this time and I’m looking forward to getting working.
“A new guy coming in always brings fresh ideas and I’ve got things I want to work on anyways, so it’ll be great to pick his brains and get his thoughts on what I need to do to keep improving.
“In this game, if you stand still, the game can pass you by even with the experience I’ve got.
“As a Club we’re improving and it’s always nice to have a good year yourself and contribute to wins.
“That’s what I’ll be aiming to do again and I feel if I can keep myself fit then I can do a good job for the Club on the field.
“I don’t know how many pre-seasons this is for me, but it’s a good sign that I’m still looking forward to it and still loving my job.”
Palladino believes Kirby’s experience with MCC players at all development age groups is vital to develop the Club’s youngsters, but at 35-years-old and with over 500 wickets to his name, he is still keen to learn.
Palladino added: “The coaching experience he has already is massive for us. We’ve got a lot of good young players who need that sort of mentoring and coaching.
“But also the experience he’ll bring will be invaluable for the likes of me, Billy [Godleman] and the senior players as well. We’ve all got things we can learn from a guy with that experience. You don’t play over 150 first-class matches without picking up useful information.”
As the 2018 season drew to a close last month and Houghton began his role as Head of Cricket, the Club has seen a number of players commit their futures to Derbyshire and Palladino hopes to take this positivtiy into pre-season training.
He said: “We’ve nailed down quite a few of the core players and I’m sure Houghts has got some irons in the fire in terms of overseas professionals.
“We’ve had a really good first part of the winter and we’re back next week so we’ll continue that with the training to get the fundamentals back before we hit the ground running in January with more of our cricket skills.”
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