Dave Houghton says the Pathway system at Derbyshire will see the club reaping the rewards of developing youth in the future.
Houghton announced he would be stepping down as Head of Cricket at the end of the current season, after a disappointing campaign for the first team, with injuries and poor form playing a big role.
However, one of the big positives in 2021 has been the progression of the Club’s Pathway, which has seen the under 18s finish top of their group in the three-day competition, ahead of Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Staffordshire, as well as a number of youngsters being selected for external events, such as the Bunbury Festival and the ECB Super Fours.
In the first team, Nafis Shaikh scored a half-century at The Incora County Ground against Cardiff UCCE in pre-season, alongside the likes of Tom Wood, Alex Hughes and Harvey Hosein, while fellow youngster Mitch Wagstaff earned a deal for the Royal London Cup, gaining valuable experience, including the victory over Nottinghamshire.
With Head of Talent Pathway, Daryn Smit, enjoying a strong first full season in the role, Houghton is excited to see where Derbyshire’s youngsters go from here.
“When I talk about leaving the club in a better place, it’s an all-round picture, sometimes people only see the first team,” he told BBC Radio Derby.
“When I arrived, the pathway system was a little different, but now we have full control of it and Daryn Smit is doing a magnificent job and our age group sides have exceeded all expectations with the way they’ve played.
“So when we say I want to leave the club in a better place, I’m talking about the whole club, from under 11s right through to the first team.”