Head of Talent Pathway, Daryn Smit, is delighted that Nick Potts has earned a first professional deal, and is looking forward to seeing what the promising paceman can produce for the club.
Potts is the newest Cricket Derbyshire Academy in partnership with the University of Derby graduate to come into the first team, joining the likes of Alex Hughes, Harvey Hosein and Sam Conners, after working with first team players and coaches in practice matches and training sessions this year.
As well as impressing the Derbyshire players and staff, Potts has also caught the attention of England Under 19s, performing well in three ‘Best vs Best’ matches for the Young Lions throughout September.
Smit admits that Potts still has a lot of developing to do, but believes Derbyshire supporters will like what they see from the home-grown paceman if he features for the first team next year.
“Nick would admit that he’s not the finished article yet, but the growth that he’s shown over the last years has opened up our eyes as coaches, but also the England Under 19s selectors,” said Smit.
“What you’ll see from Nick when he crosses the white line is maximum effort. He’s so professional and, most importantly, he has a great set of skills with the ball in his hand. He has the ability to shape the ball both ways with control.
“Without wanting to put extra pressure on him, he has the ability to do what Stuart Broad does, where he lets go of the ball in a controlled manner, but angles it back into the right-hander and across the left-hander. To naturally be able to do that is a great skill.
“He hits a naturally good, strong length and he’s a tall, strong boy who’s an absolute athlete. He’s a great asset in the field, and he would fit into any changing room. Uncommon for a fast bowler, he’s quite quiet, but when he has the ball in his hand, you know he’s up for the challenge.”
The 18-year-old fast bowler is the first prospect to come through the system since Smit came into the role in January, but the former wicketkeeper-batsman is keen to highlight the efforts of all coaches throughout Potts’ development.
“It’s been a real team effort,” he added.
“It would be naïve of me to try to take all of the credit, when Steve Kirby and Mal Loye have done so much over the last couple of years with Pottsy.
“That’s what makes our setup at Derbyshire so valuable, we have so many resources available to us, with some excellent coaching and knowledge around the players. It makes it so rewarding when a player graduates from our Academy and gets their first professional deal.
“It’s also a credit to Nick, because he’s worked fantastically hard through the challenges of lockdown. He’s faced adversity, taken it on the chin and come out brilliantly on the other side. This is a reward for the effort that he’s put in.”
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