I know that we have a game this afternoon against Glamorgan, but to all intents and purposes the season ended in somewhat lively circumstances yesterday. There should be a chance for Jamie Pipe to have one last hurrah today and an opportunity for some of our young guns to get a run out.
I'll do a final piece on the season as a whole in the next few days, but here are my ratings for the players in the 2009 season. Just so that you know, these scores are:
4 - Poor
5 - Below Average
6 - Average
7 - Good
8 - Very Good
9 - Excellent
10 - Flawless
So here goes:
Chris Rogers 9
It is hard to fault the skipper after a season where the runs flowed from his bat. The longer the season progressed, the wider his bat seemed to be. Only his Twenty/20 form dropped below the remarkable. Had he not missed early matches with Visa difficulties he would have probably made 1700 Championship runs. As it was, he ended with the second highest average ever by a Derbyshire batsman and was deservedly player of the year.
Wayne Madsen 8
Madsen emerged from the Central Lancashire League and took to County Cricket like a duck to water. Runs flowed from his bat as Derbyshire fans enjoyed seeing a player who took time to work out conditions and then unveiled a full range of strokes. He seems to have the knack of making the most of the opportunity once he is "in" and the partnership with Rogers is one to whet the appetite over the winter months.
Steve Stubbings 5
The season marked a farewell to a loyal, committed and affable servant to the club. Stubbo never got going this season and knew that he hadn't had the weight of runs to make his case. Fans will remember him as a dogged opening bat, yet one who had the shots which he produced on occasion. A steady slip or outfielder, he was also one of the nicest guys in cricket. Thanks Steve.
Paul Borrington 5
Bozza never really got a chance this season, although his form with Loughborough UCCE suggested that he is producing more shots than of late as he grows. Nor did he score enough runs in the Seconds to press for a first team place, but his technique is sound, he has a phlegmatic temperament and a contract to the end of 2012. His time will come, I'm sure.
Dan Birch 4
The butcher of league attacks never really got going at County level. A lack of foot movement saw him found out, while his size made him somewhat immobile in the field. Diehards will remember 90 before lunch against Gloucestershire, but Dan was a gamble that never really came off. Twenty/20 should have been his game, but he rarely suggested a contribution on limited opportunities.
Dominic Telo 4
Dom came from South Africa (albeit not top level South African cricket) with a good reputation as a batsman of promise. He looked composed and balanced at the crease and had a good range of strokes, yet kept getting out at 20, 30, 40 when he should have been going on. Excellent fielder, like most South Africans, but we need more than flashy 20's from batsmen and with others progressing, Telo never scored runs, even at Second Eleven, to force his way in.
Garry Park 8
A big success story. Park looked a compact, organised batsman and scored over a thousand Championship runs in his first full season. Lightning fast between the wickets, he is set to play a big part in our fortunes in future years and has set a high benchmark. A Mark Ealham style bowler, he could also become a genuine all rounder, rather than a batsman who bowls. In addition, one of the best fielders I've ever seen for Derbyshire, with a great pair of hands.
Dan Redfern 7
Dan is 19 but looks about five years younger! He looks so poised at the crease and has the traditional left hander's skills off his legs. At the same time his cover driving is a thing of beauty and he is another who, as he grows will become an integral part of the team. Good fielder and a useful off spinner, next season people will know more about him (like Park) and we'll see how he rises to that.
John Sadler 6
Sads had a dreadful 2008 but had mitigating off-field circumstances. In 2009 he scored heavily at club and Second Eleven level yet got few first team opportunities because of the form of others. When he did get in he generally scored runs but it was often pre-declaration and there wasn't time to make a big score. 2010 is a big year for him.
Wavell Hinds 6
Wave had a golden spell in mid-season and was our top scorer in the Pro 40. John Morris rates his dressing room contribution highly, but his average is below that of a man with vast international experience. A committed man, he will be disappointed that the weight of runs didn't follow, while his medium pace was under-utilised this year. We'll need to wait and see if he's back again.
Stuart Law 5
Signed for his experience of one day batting, Law produced one innings of brilliance at Northampton yet little else. Surprisingly batted down the order in the Twenty/20 when we needed his input higher up. To be fair, he came straight from the beach, but his early season cover in the Championship for Chris Rogers amounted to little. Unlikely to be seen again, but much will depend on who else is available, as the option was discussed.
Greg Smith 8
Greg just missed his thousand, which would have been fully deserved and looked a much improved player in 2009. He responded well to moving up the order to 4, and is another terrific fielder. With his ability to bowl both medium pace and off spin he is an asset to the captain, but he may at some point decide to concentrate on one of them and perfect the art.
James Pipe 7
Announced his retirement near the end of the season with plenty still in the tank. There was a slight drop in his standards behind the stumps but he averaged around 40 again with the bat and played some punishing knocks. We will miss a genial, battling player but it is good to know that he will remain at the County Ground as club physio.
Fred Klokker 6
Another nice guy, Fred was solid with the bat and competent with the gloves, without suggesting that he was good enough at either to be the replacement for James Pipe, hence the signing of Lee Goddard. He has been around the club for a couple of years but with Tom Poynton likely to be on the full time staff next year, he has probably played his last game for us.
Tom Poynton 6
At 19, Tom is one for the future. He kept quite well in his late season Pro 40 games and batted well enough on occasions to suggest a bright future. Yet at 19 he is too young to be thought of as a replacement for Pipe and will need to learn and work at his craft in the Second XI under the eagle eye of Karl Krikken
Graham Wagg 7
Waggy had shoulder trouble that cost him matches in mid/late season and earlier injury issues, otherwise he'd have reached his fifty wickets for the season for the third successive year. His batting dropped off a little, but in a better batting side he had fewer opportunities. He remains a talisman, dangerous bowling fast medium or spin, a prodigious hitter when he gets his range and a brilliant fielder.
Tim Groenewald 7
Another of the new signings who was a success, Groenewald bowled accurately and with hostility and became a key member of the attack. Having come with a reputation as a hitter, he showed battling qualities as a lower order batsman who produced useful runs and he looks set to be an integral part of the side in future years.
Jon Clare 5
His second season was always going to be difficult and an array of injuries only added to the complexity. He never got going in 2009 but has sensibly been secured on a long term contract. With hard work over the winter, he can come back in 2010 to be the talented all rounder suggested last year.
Tom Lungley 5
Tom had another year of under-achievement and we don't yet know if his one year optional contract will be taken up. On his day he can take good wickets, but those days seem increasingly sporadic and on the bad days he goes for plenty. But for injuries he would have been a very good bowler, but I'm not sure if he will return to his better days.
Ian Hunter 6
In the early weeks of the season, Sticks was our best bowler, but as the season progressed he went further down the pecking order. Tim Groenewald's emergence hit him the most, but he seems destined to be a bit part player for Derbyshire. Another who, on his good days could be a bowler of some ability, but our attack seems to have too many bowlers of only sporadic menace and needs to be overhauled.
Jake Needham 5
Jake is another on a long term contract which suggests there is faith in his ability, but in 2009 he struggled for a place in the side, even in more favourable conditions. Still the best spinner on the books, but needs to do more to get into the side. Useful batsman and very good fielder, but another for whom 2010 is going to crucial.
Mark Lawson 4
Started off bowling reasonably tidily in early one day games, but as more leg-spin friendly tracks emerged in late summer he struggled with line and length. Had a nightmare against Kent in the Pro 40 and four wickets at 83 suggested Lawson was out of his depth at this level. On a one year deal and as such it would be a major surprise if he were to be seen again.
Steffan Jones 7
Steffan took up where he left off for Derbyshire and bowled with great heart and no little skill in the latter part of the season when he returned on loan from Somerset. He probably has another year, maybe two left in him and I'd be surprised if John Morris did not sign a man likely to be a free agent for 2010
Nantie Hayward 4
A gamble by John Morris having lost Charl Langeveldt and concerned that he may be left short of seamers as the season progressed. Didn't really work as he found line, length and rhythm hard to find. Eleven wickets at 43 in the Championship is not what is wanted from a Kolpak and Nantie looked a player who's best days were firmly behind him.
Chesney Hughes 6
We only saw the tall Anguillan in a few Pro 40s but he was accurate with his slow left arm, even though the punishing batting we'd read about from Second XI games was missing. Signed very much as one for the future and I think we could see more of this talented teenager in the next few years. One to watch.
So there it is. I'll give you my closing thoughts on the season in the next few days, but for now I'll hope we can finish on a high against Glamorgan today. It will be an experimental side and there'll be no Chris Rogers, so the thinking money is on a defeat.
Let me know your thoughts on my scores, either by clicking on the comments, or, if you prefer, by mailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org