There has been pleasing news for Derbyshire supporters in the past couple of days.
First, Tom Taylor and Ben Cotton signed contract extensions, keeping them at the club until the end of 2018. Now today, Taylor's Ticknall team mate Tom Wood has been selected in the Derbyshire squad to play Leicestershire at the 3aaa County Ground, starting tomorrow.
It is just reward for Wood. after a prolific summer that followed a prolific winter in Australia. His game is in a good place right now and I am delighted for a young man who could have a big future. The presence of Academy graduates Alex Hughes, Ben Slater and Wood is good to see in a county batting line up. The full squad contains eight from that Academy and is:
The visitors have also named a thirteen-man squad, though one at the other end of the age spectrum, with a strong over-thirty bias.
Horton, Robson, Dexter, Cosgrove (capt), Pettini, Eckersley (w/k), Dearden, McKay, Chappell, Shreck, Klein, Jones, Sayer.
Checking through my mails in recent days, there has been some criticism in the comparison between Leicestershire filling the coaching role to be vacated by Andrew McDonald quickly, while we have taken our time.
The answer is simple and the criticism not valid to me. They know their coach is leaving, while we wanted to give our mid-season replacement, John Sadler, a chance to make the job his own. He's not done a bad job, though hamstrung by some under-performing senior players and a few issues (the Ches n Wes stories) that are probably outwith his control.
Some younger players have taken the opportunity to make a case and, whatever happens at the summer's end, John can hold his head high. That an influx of reliable, more experienced talent is required is a given, and will doubtless be addressed in the coming weeks and months.
I am sure that plenty of work is going on behind the scenes to sort the many outstanding issues and there will be news soon enough.
In closing - thanks to my daughter for this!