Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Youngsters inclusion good to see

The inclusion of two new players for the trip to Sussex at the weekend seemed likely when the names of both Dan Redfern and Wes Durston appeared in the Second XI yesterday. Both could have been having a knock in the side and then pulled from it to make a trip south, but neither scored the runs required to force inclusion after what even they would concede as disappointing summers.

So Alex Hughes rightly and deservedly comes into the squad that travels south, as does Matt Higginbottom, who has taken over thirty wickets this summer. He has been around the Derbyshire squad for a year or two now, but should make his first-class debut alongside Tim Groenewald and either Mark Footitt or Mark Turner.

With Peter Burgoyne and Ben Slater in the squad too, there is a youthful vibe to it and we, as fans, must be patient. There must be understanding in struggles and appreciation of success for young players who, in some cases, could be the cornerstone of our side for the next five to ten years.

Not all will make it of course, as life isn't like that, but if two or three of the current crop go on to be steady successful county cricketers then the Academy will be confirmed as doing a very good job.

The squad in full for Sussex:

C Hughes, Slater, Madsen, Chanderpaul, Johnson, A Hughes, Poynton, Burgoyne, Groenewald, Higginbottom, Footitt, Turner.

I wish them well and supporters should get behind them and realise that results are not now important. More so is that individual success in the remaining games will give a boost to confidence and be of considerable benefit in the medium to long term.

More soon.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Agree with youth but playing Johnson ahead of a recognised batsmen in Durston or Redfern is just crazy.When will this stupid experiment end ! Would sooner have signed up Elstone and played him. Exec member

notoveryet said...

Sorry, Peakfan, but I have to disagree on almost every count.

Results do matter, even now. As things are, we are heading for the lowest number of points ever scored in the first division. Laughing stock status beckons and no amount of commercial or cultural change will counter this stain. We have been beaten this year in too many games, annihilated in the last two, and the risk is that we now descend into humiliation and contempt if results get even worse. layer that with relegation, and I suspect that many of our new found commercial friends won't want to be associated with us again. Not least, results matter to our rivals, and we owe it to them in their search for the title or first division survival to put out our strongest team.

Of course, you can say that things could hardly get worse. I'd say that of course it can. Defeat by an innings and 113 runs against Yorkshire could turn into defeat by an innings and 250, 300 or even 400 if the team we've picked can't compete. If I was a betting man, I'd be looking at the biggest defeat any championship side has suffered and risking £10 on it. I defy anyone to explain how a young player, no matter how talented, will benefit from being associated with this, and I really think the weakness of this team creates the possibility.

I find it hard to recall any Derbyshire side in my era (going back to the early 1960's) that has looked weaker on paper. We are likely to have four specialist batsmen and (absolutely bizarrely) four specialist bowlers unless you count Alex Hughes, who honestly doesn't rate that description even in the second XI. One of those is playing his second game with a track record of 1-149, and another either a debutant with a modest second XI record or Mark Turner. Have we ever put out a bowling side with fewer first class appearances or wickets?

You can argue that since so much of this team doesn't have a track record, you don't know what they can do. Neither do you know what they can't do, and the risks involved are massive. Not just immediate, but the catastrophic damage to the confidence of good young players thrown into the deepest of ends in which they can drown.

The most important issue for us now is to work out who (if we do get promotion again next year) is worth bringing back for our next attempt. We know the answer on Mark Turner (marginal in Division 2and cruelly and devastatingly exposed in Division 1), and Durston (will play a key role next year in Division 2 but we now know that Somerset were right about hi in Division 1). But we need to know about Redfern, Wainwright, Clare (if he's fit - does anyone actually know?), Borrington and Godleman, and cut our losses if they really aren't likely to be good enough. We can find out more about the marginal youngsters like Slater and Higginbottom in Division 2 next year when they aren't as much at risk of having fledgling careers snuffed out in catastrophic defeats.

Before I'm attacked from all sides for defeatism and lack of commitment to Derbyshire, I'll say that I will truly be delighted to be proved wrong this weekend. But I'm preparing myself for one of the most distressing few days in my experience as a Derbyshire supporter.

Peakfan said...

As always I enjoy and am grateful for your comments Notoveryet but we will need to disagree!
You say we should put out our strongest team - what is it? Neither Redfern or Durston would be in that on current championship form, while Wainwright has eight wickets at 75 in five games. Clare isn't in the current Seconds game, so one must assume he is injured.
As I have said before, we cannot 'cut our losses' and pay off those who aren't cutting the mustard. Paying them off would leave no money for replacements, which would leave us where, exactly?
As for finding out about Slater and Higginbottom next year - well, both are on summer deals and the whole point of this is to see if they are worth a full contract for another year. They may not be, but until we try them we will never know. A few runs at this level and it boosts their confidence.
Even if they were on a deal for next year, why wait till then, find out they're not good enough and lose another summer?
I'm not bothered about obligations to other counties. We look after ourselves and do what is right for ourselves. Not too many of them worry about us so I don't see why we should reciprocate, quite honestly.
I think we will lose against Sussex, a good side, but not by the margin you suggest.If we do, then such a defeat should make the youngsters determined to redouble their efforts to make the requisite standard.
If they're not prepared to do that, its another mechanism for sorting the wheat from the chaff.
I guess we will find out, starting tomorrow...

notoveryet said...

The same phrase - wheat from the chaff" was just going through my mind before your last comment, Peakfan. Only I was thinking about the senior players who got us in Div 1 and, we thought, could at least keep us competitive if not successful. I honestly don't think we should be thinking the same about young players who are plunged into a failing side en masse in such an unforgiving environment. I certainly don't want to see any of the youngsters being ditched on the basis of their performances in this and a few more games. That's what makes me think that this isn't good for the development of the players involved, however excited they are tonight.

I take your point about what Derbyshire's strongest side might be at the moment, but I'm confident that Sussex will be much happier thinking about facing this Derbyshire team than one with a couple of more experienced players in it. But my key point is still that we need to be doing all we can to find out if some of the more experienced are worth bringing back with us in two years time if we are promoted. I'm sure some will thrive again in Division 2 next year and will still be on contracts that we can't pay off anyway, as you point out, but the next few games should be vital in telling us whether or not they can work out a way of thriving in Div 1. They can only do that if they play.

Final thought, does anyone know what is happening with Clare? We're all assuming he's injured because he's not playing in either game, but if so, why are the club not saying this as it is with Palladino? It's not surprising that FF gets into a frenzy of speculation when there is such a closed door on some elements of comms at Derbyshire.

Peakfan said...

Fair points mate but I'm now inclined to go with the young lads who need an opportunity, the others having had half a season to show their best form.
They will probably come again next summer and will generally have one more summer on contract after that to prove themselves at top level.