Thursday, 24 October 2013

Houghton departs as county economies begin

It is always sad when people leave your favourite sports team, especially when the parting comes as a result of finances.

David Houghton has left Derbyshire for the second - and one assumes final - time as a result of the cost-cutting measures alluded to last week. At this stage it is difficult to see if this is going to see a simple restructure of the existing coaches, or if he will be replaced in a like-for-like move.

Houghton is a good and articulate man who is passionate about his cricket. The under-performing batting line-up last season probably didn't help his case for retention, but a coach can only do so much for any club or individual player. There will always be those who thrive and respond under their tutelage, while others will struggle to interpret things being shown and explained.

A classic case came with Wayne Madsen, who moved on a level last year and freely acknowledged the role played by Houghton in improving his mental attitude, as much as his technique. Other players were less successful and I had a feeling last week that the current overhaul might see a change or two in the coaching set up.

It is sad, but Derbyshire can ill-afford to be complacent. Whatever the potential of the talent coming through from the club academy, it is vital that the right coaches are in place to ensure that it is fully released. The time was right for such a revamp after a season in which we were, after all, relegated.

What happens next? We'll need to wait and see, but we currently have a second team coach in Steve Stubbings, a bowling coach in AJ Harris and Karl Krikken in charge of it all. I'd guess that the designations will change in the winter months, if nothing else.

Worth keeping an eye on, for all of us.

1 comment:

Marc said...

I think the writing was on the wall for Houghton the moment Stubbings walked through the door. It seems illogial to appoint a second team coach part way through what always looked like a relegation season,given the obvious financial implications,so perhaps there was always more to it than met the eye.

I,ve always been somewhat sceptical as to the value of coaches and what real benefit they actually offer. I don,t believe players can really change their style or technique once they get past their teens and too much theory is as likely to kill a player as cure him.

Unfortunately,my main memories of Houghton will not be as a coach, but reflecting on the awful period he was in charge of the team,not that it got much better following his departure.