By ECB Reporters Network
All-rounder Luis Reece believes an impressive winter recruitment drive can help Derbyshire Falcons take another step forward in the Vitality Blast this summer.
The Falcons reached their first-ever Finals Day last year and are aiming to build on that success in the 2020 season.
This winter, Derbyshire have moved quickly to lock down Australia internationals Ben McDermott and Sean Abbott.
Abbott has already tasted success this year, helping the Sydney Sixers to the Big Bash League title, and is the second-highest wicket-taker in the history of the tournament while wicketkeeper-batsman McDermott is one of its most destructive hitters.
“They add quality and depth into a good nucleus of players,” Reece said.
“We were bitterly disappointed to lose the semi-final but hopefully the work that we’ve done in the winter, we’ve recruited some very good players, and hopefully they can fit into roles and help us go further to win the competition.”
“There will be plenty of opportunities for them to shine and to show their quality.”
Reece revealed one of the keys to Derbyshire’s success last year was the close-knit squad and he expects that environment will allow the new names to help push the club forward.
“It’s been one of the few teams that I’ve played in that everyone genuinely gets on with everyone,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re the most experienced or least experienced player you’re made to feel welcome and accepted and lads encourage you to go out an express yourself.
“We’re very lucky at how welcoming our senior players are. It’s a very easy environment to fit into.”
That welcoming environment extends to fans who attend the Pattonair County Ground and Reece said the relationship with the fans has been valuable to drive the team on to success.
“When The Pattonair County Ground is sold out the players feel it because they are so close to the supporters. It is a great atmosphere,” he said.
“Our fans are brilliant and the players interact with them. We make sure that we do have a close relationship with our fans whether that’s staying behind and signing autographs and just speaking to the fans that want to integrate and learn more about the players they’re coming to support.
“It’s definitely worth coming down. We’re very lucky to have that on our doorstep and to be a part of that is pretty special. For anyone who wants to come down for the first time it is well worth it and people will leave with a lot of smiles and fond memories of the Pattonair.”
The Falcons enjoyed record ticket sales during the group stage last summer highlighted by selling out the derby clash with Notts Outlaws.
Tickets for this summer’s Vitality Blast went on sale on Monday with the Outlaws match expected to again sell out.
“They sell out very quickly,” Reece said.
“There’s a good rivalry between us and Notts. They have got the better of us over the last couple of years but it is always a fixture that gets earmarked at the start of the year.
“All the players are excited to take the field and try and get one up on our rivals. Hopefully we can get a win on the board and send them back to Trent Bridge with their tail between their legs.”
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