Friday, 30 September 2016

Barnett announced as new Director of Cricket

In some ways, today's announcement of Kim Barnett, Derbyshire's greatest-ever batsman, as Director of Cricket comes as no surprise.

After all, as I have mentioned a couple of times recently, for players to be getting contract offers and for Gary Wilson to be signed, someone within the club had to be making those decisions with an expectation of being there to see them through.

The new deal for Tony Palladino, with a coaching remit, appears to be a sign of things to come, while Wilson suggested that he wanted to help younger players to develop. It would appear that this is seen as the way forward and it is hard to fault as a concept.

Thinking about the game is a major part of things and surely an effect of this new process is for players to work and think that bit harder at their own game when helping young players. Setting an example, hopefully as a consequence, can only be good from a team perspective.

Barnett will report to Kevin Dean, as Cricket Advisory Director and there will be three coaches underneath him. One, a Development Coach, will be responsible for the Academy and Second Eleven (presumably with input from player/coaches), while for the first time the senior coaching role is split in two.

The First Eleven Support Coach will be responsible for the four-day and fifty-over teams, while the Twenty20 Coach role will be a three-month contract and the successful candidate will appoint the captain and his overseas players.

It is a bold move, with Derbyshire being the first county to appoint a T20 specialist coach. I can't fault them for that, although cynics will suggest that we had a 'revolutionary' idea before that never worked out. Perhaps not, but in the situation we find ourselves, it is good to see us trying something new, rather than going for the same old, same old. I can never fault original thought, whatever the outcome.

I'm unsure of who we are aiming for with a three-month contract coach, but logically we could attract the same coaches who find a niche in the IPL and Big Bash. Perhaps even a player-coach, happy to come here for a short period to broaden their experience and  hopefully add something to their CV. Let's be honest, any coach who can get Derbyshire through to the knock out stage of T20 has got to be worth their weight in gold.

Talking of cynics, there will be those who suggest that the return of Kim Barnett may be a bad move, remembering the discord of some of his time at the county. I accept that, but would also suggest that it was one of the most successful periods in the club's history. Whatever you think of Kim Barnett - and many have formulated opinions despite never having met him - he IS a winner, both with Derbyshire and with Gloucestershire.

I wrote last week that I wasn't really fussed who became Derbyshire coach as long as he oversaw an improvement in the club's playing fortunes. This new structure would appear to me to divert more money from the coaching side to playing affairs, which can only be a good thing. 

I also like today's assertion that we are 'shopping' in the experienced and proven side of the market this winter. While one or two, for example, disagreed with my comment that Nathan Buck was little better than we had, I stand by it. That he has 158 first-class wickets, for me, is neither here nor there. They have come over eight seasons in the first-class game, which rather puts things in a twenty wickets a year perspective. Like I said at the time, we HAVE to aim for better than bowlers who average around 40 runs per wicket, or we may as well not bother.

Which all makes for a rather exciting prospect. AJ Harris may well prove a good shout for the development role, but we are likely to have at least one new coach, as well as some new players of proven quality in the coming months.

It is, as an email to me stated today, going to help our young cricketers develop in exactly the right environment, one that will hopefully become a positive and winning one.

We'll see about that.

For now, as always, I welcome your comments.

Postscript - almost forgot to welcome our new physio, Fran Clarkson, to the club. Formerly of Worcestershire 2nd XI, she is a cricketer herself and will doubtless prove a worthy successor to James Pipe, who has gone over to the dark side - sorry, Nottinghamshire.

She's not the club's first lady physio, as many will remember Ann Brentnall, but I am sure that she is eminently qualified to so a fine job.

I wish her well - and hope that she's not TOO busy!

Post postscript - Kim Barnett has given up the presidency of the club - understandably - and I hope that the club takes the opportunity to revert to the old way of things and makes this honorary role that of a senior, surviving former player, which was always the way of things.

I understand the commercial rationale of appointing Geoff Miller and Kim Barnett in turn, but in so doing the club ignored an opportunity to honour some outstanding contributors to its history from earlier generations.

The claims of Harold Rhodes and Brian Jackson are strong, but I am happy to nail my colours to the mast and suggest that Edwin Smith, who made his county debut in 1951, should have a long contribution to the club, as both player and coach, formally recognised.

14 comments:

Mark said...

I thought Barnett would get it if Sadler wasn't appointed. Again it smacks of the cheap and easy option, appoint from within like we've always ever done. Anyway, all the best Kim and good luck.

Adam said...

This comes as no surprise as it had been a rumour on the ground for months and Kim's involvement in the club was obviously increasing as he had been doing a bit of coaching with the 2nd's etc. It is going to be very interesting to see how this works and who is going to be involved in the other roles. I hope, if he wants it, that there will be a role for John Sadler (the role of development coach perhaps) as let's not forget that John stuck his hand up at a difficult part of the season when he did not have to. He had previously done good work with the seconds, winning the one day trophy in 2015, bringing the youngsters through and it makes sense to have someone who has knowledge of the club already.

My greatest concern with Kim is that he has been out of the game for so long, I was particularly concerned with T20 as Kim has never been involved with this and at least that fear has been put to bed in some respects. An ideal candidate for this role would be Paul Nixon, again if he was interested, but there are questions as to how this will work. It is understandable that they will be able to bring in their own T20 overseas players but it also states that they will be able to bring in their own domestic players but what percentage of the budget will be available for this? What number of T20 specialist's are we able to accommodate? There is potential for friction there but equally this could well be the future as T20 requires so many different skills from the other formats and treating it as entirely separate is an interesting plan and if it is a success then when we will not be the only ones trying this.

Kim has so far spoken sense in the interviews that I have seen and he has identified the right area's for improvement. It was interesting to note that he has said that we may well end up with 4-5 different overseas players next year. It promises to be a busy winter!

Mark said...

Come on where are all the comments about this exciting appointment?. What, underwhelmed you say!.

Peakfan said...

Call it a hunch, Mark but I have a feeling that there's humble pie to be eaten round your place. Just a vibe from what people around the place are saying that good news will be coming in the weeks ahead...

Peakfan said...

Call it a hunch, Mark but I have a feeling that there's humble pie to be eaten round your place. Just a vibe from what people around the place are saying that good news will be coming in the weeks ahead...

Anonymous said...

Hi Peakfan, can I ask if you mean there has been rumoured good news about new signings or this new coaching structure?

I am hoping you mean the former and not the latter because I am a bit unsure about the new announcements. Unsure how we are going to attract a 'T20 supremo' and also get them to sign both international and domestic players for the T20 games. I may be reading too much into the Barnett video but it sounded a bit like they already know who will fill this role.

I still think we need a solid 3 or 4 established players to be competitive. This would allow us to not rely on youngsters, using them to supplement the XI, not be the basis of it.

Gareth

Peakfan said...

Gareth I know no more than anyone else who we are aiming to bring in, but when good people say they have experienced (presumably proven) people in mind it has to be a step forward for our club.
I am excited at possibilities, as Ia sure most fans should be!

Nic H said...

I'm positive about this move, very positive in fact. Seeing winners like barnett and Cork involved can only rub off on players who are used to defeat and not a consistent experience of getting over the winning post. Like he said the elite performance plan failed as an investment. There needs to be a change of ethos at the club and this is best achieved by winners who must still be hungry for success. Other than a lack of a good quick in the championship the ability is knocking around.

Dave said...

Dave Fletcher suggested that Sadler and Harris have no future at DCCC having been involved in the failed 'Elite Performance' plan.I would suggest they could reappear in some of the new positions with slightly different responsibilities.It was also stated that Durston had departed although no mention has been made on the club website to date.I would think a statement regarding retained and released players and coaches should be announced shortly.

Mark N said...

I am quite happy that Kim Barnett is involved at the very top. We need winners and he has proved himself over the years. Who the new coach will be who knows. I hope we get it sorted, if its not already sorted. Interested to see who the T20 supremo will be. Hopwefully a big name with IPL and Big bash experience perhaps who can pull some strings and get us 2 amazing overseas to help transform this squad. What with there being no division for T20 we should be able to sign some big names funds permitting. Fingers crossed for an exciting winter off the pitch as the summer on the pitch was horrendous. Lost count of the number of times I stopped following the official twitter mid match only to start following again an hour later!
Mark N

Peakfan said...

That might well be Dave's opinion and may be the case but it has not been announced as such.
Wes? I think if he is retained it would be a T20 contract and that may be a decision for whoever gets that 'gig'. Wes may not want that of course.
But it is all conjecture until the club announces otherwise.

Peakfan said...

Totally agree Mark!

Peakfan said...

Totally agree Mark!

Peakfan said...

That might well be Dave's opinion and may be the case but it has not been announced as such.
Wes? I think if he is retained it would be a T20 contract and that may be a decision for whoever gets that 'gig'. Wes may not want that of course.
But it is all conjecture until the club announces otherwise.