Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Guest post - Keep the Faith, by Rob Enderby

What do people want? 

Have a look at the Test match grounds, full to the brim at £75 per day and £5 for a pint and you start to realise why supporters (the clue really is in the title ) should be more restrained and accepting of  our difficulties.

We are within touching distance of progressing in the Twenty20 against some huge teams.  We absolutely smashed Leicestershire out of the park, in a game that I attended and thoroughly enjoyed - perhaps too much, as at £3.70 a pint I had 4 or 5 too many.  Yet we question why we have rested Smit and Tahir, in a game we should on paper have no chance of winning in the championship.  In my opinion we should have rested a few more - Madsen, Wilson and Viljoen - and given youth a chance, in a competition where we are not going to finish above 7th.

I said earlier in the season that we shouldn't really be able to compete against Nottinghamshire. They hoover up all the talent, Footitt being another prime example.  Let other counties do all the work in developing a bowler of promise who has lacked opportunity, then take him back once that process is finished.  What hope do we have?

Our best bowlers have been injured for most of the season, one of our best players has found himself in difficulties off the pitch and others have found that they are perhaps short of  the required standard.
 Hosein gets a gig, is out first ball and all of a sudden is rubbish, in the eyes of some at the ground the other day. Why is that?

I firmly believe that in my lifetime counties will go to the wall.  There will be six or seven Test match ground teams and that's it. And we will have contributed to our own downfall by hopeless negativity.

We currently have a handful of players who I would imagine would get a game at most second division clubs.  Godleman, Madsen, Wilson, Smit, a fit Davis and an equally fit Viljoen, perhaps Hughes and the young spinner Qadri.  The challenge is to supplement these with two or three others and we will compete, perhaps across the board.

Until then, buckle up and enjoy the ride. Stop thinking that we know better than paid professionals, or that there's a conspiracy theory around every corner when the club doesn't tell us what Tahir had for breakfast. 

Take the defeats, but my word celebrate like we've won the World Cup  when we win and above all else support, support, support.
Rob in Essex    


Steve H said...

A well written piece Rob.

Permit me to comment about whether we know better than the professionals..

At the start of the Test Series we were spun some yarn about Dawson being el numero uno spinner in this country, and two Tests later it is Moeen now being picked as a spinning biffer.

Those guys who picked that England team are " paid professional" Selectors, yet because it comes down to opinion and not fact they can, and probably do make errors in judgement.

The selection at Derbyshire is just the same. It is an opinion. Though those regular attendees don't attend practices, or have breakfast with the team, they can form an opinion.

Most cricket followers wondered, in fact more than wondered about the Dawson strategy having seen him bat and bowl on TV, and formed an opinion ( quite probably right) that he didn't quite cut the mustard, which two Tests later the Selectors saw what we saw.

The guys at Derbyshire, I grant you, are best placed, but it doesn't always mean the right calls are made, professionals or not.

David Woolley said...

Great piece Rob, thoroughly enjoyed it.
I think all DCCC supporters would agree with your comment about Notts. specifically, hoovering up talent. Although this does apply to all of the test ground, so called bigger Counties.
My view is that the ECB do not really want the likes of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Gloucestershire, etc. I also believe that the proposed franchising of the T20 is a bad thing for all, but more to the point, the smaller Counties, who will see themselves further 'cut adrift' from the big boys. Where are matches most likely to be played? Trent bridge or the 3aaa or Grace road grounds.
With regard to local talent moving on, it brings us back to the Harvey Hosein situation. Having seen the lad perform a few times, I have to say that I think he is a very good prospect. I have heard many calls for his inclusion in the first team, otherwise we may lose him. Unfortunately, I believe that whether he is in the first team or not, if a division one club playing at a test ground offering more money comes along, then he is likely to go whether he's in the team or not.
As you say, we must all keep the faith, or at the very minimum try to !!!

notoveryet said...

It seems to me, Rob, that a lot of what you say harks back to the language of the Amott / Morris era when the response to criticism was “what can you expect from the poorest county”. Yes, of course expectation needs to be tempered by financial reality, and some clubs (including “small” counties like Essex and Somerset) can recruit players of a quality and in numbers that we can only dream of. But equating limited resources with inevitable failure and being grateful for whatever crumbs we can steal is not what I support Derbyshire for. Three examples make my point.

First, Worcestershire, Kent and Northamptonshire are all chasing promotion. Without much more in the way of resources or support, Worcs have built a competitive side with very few imports, produced a current England player and have two or three others who are on the radar. Kent likewise haven’t imported much, are financially stretched enough not to be able to afford overseas players at times and couldn’t compete with our offer to Viljoen, and have produced players on the fringe of England selection. Northants have a tiny playing staff, were on the brink of financial collapse last year, and rely even more than we do on cast-offs from other counties, but are winning competitions, competing for promotion and producing home grown England players. Of course, they will probably struggle in Division 1 but that doesn’t mean that they (and we) can’t compete, just that it’s more difficult to sustain.

Second, we are only five years away from promotion ahead of Yorkshire, Hampshire, and Essex, and the following year made a better fist of avoiding relegation than Surrey. Despite being in a much weaker financial position than we are now, we were a more successful team than 4 of the current lords of the first division. The change in our fortunes since then isn’t because we’ve got poorer and they’ve got richer, but because they have been well-managed and made good decisions, and we’ve been poorly managed and made bad decisions. Most of this lies at the door of Graeme Welch, who presided over the disintegration of the squad that got us into Division 1, recruited poorly, and failed to develop the pathway for young players into first-class cricket. Many of us were seeing and talking about these failures 12 months and more before the club acted, but presumably your arguments of “support, support, support” and “trust the paid professionals” would have required us to stay quiet. Steve H is right that we don’t know everything that lies behind decisions, but that doesn’t mean that we do the club a disservice by offering informed comment and opinion. I think we are now back on the right path but where Northants, Kent and Worcs have been building steadily and consistently over several years, we have had repeated upheavals and brand new starts, and it’s that, rather than lack of financial clout that has left us grasping for the wooden spoon.

Third, we have been competitive against Notts this season. Of the five games so far this season, we would have won at Trent Bridge but for the weather, and have lost the three one-day matches very narrowly. Things hang in the balance today, but overall we’ve acquitted ourselves much better than most others. I’d have agreed with you in the past about Notts using their financial clout to hoover up talent from other clubs, but the reality is that most of the current side is home-grown, and developed from the same club cricket culture that we have in Derbyshire – Hales, Libby, Patel, Hutton, Ball, Wood and (yes) Footitt – are all home grow, and if Notts can do it, so can we. We may not always be able to hold on to our talent if the big boys come calling, but players are far less likely to move on if they are home-grown (and well-treated).

Anonymous said...

John from Derby here. A well written piece in my opinion. Like all sports fans we get far to exited with success and failure. The simple facts are that how ever hard you try to improve, sometimes things will conspire to ruin all the good work. I'm actually enjoying this season. We have been largely more competitive in the 4 day game than last year, not withstanding the last 4 days. We should have beaten Notts at Trent bridge, thwarted only by the weather. I've seen Most of the T20s including Hedingley and New road all amazing results. I am happy to complain about decisions that I am not fully informed on when things don't go to plan. As far as I'm concerned we are moving in the right direction. Last season we were terrible. Not so this year.
We do have good young prospects looking to push on next season. I do watch a fair bit of 2s cricket as well so feel I'm in a good position to comment. Wood, Macdonald, Brodderick. All have time on there side and have shown enough to be optomistic if we are patient. Reece as shown he has the capabilities to be a top player given time. The same goes for Critchley. Qadri's another. We must take the long game approach and give these young men time to develop and improve. The big problem that as upset the applecart this year is fitness issues. Will Davies out for most of the season plus Viljoen still not fit in my opinion.2 Players we were all looking to carry the attack and it just hasn't happened. We've made a decent fist of it in general but we still need to keep moving forward. Harvey needs game time to fulfil is potential. That for me as been the biggest failing in my eyes. I don't really buy into the mentering approach. You get better by playing, not watching. If it was down to watching Id be playing as I watch more than most. lets hope we can find the balance between winning and young player development. We are not perfect but we are getting better. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Peakfan said...

Very good post notoveryet. Thank you

Peakfan said...

Good, considered thoughts John. Thanks for them

Anonymous said...

I found Smit's comments during the commentary to be very revealing; he was asked about Harvey Hosein and replied that when he spent a little time with him back during pre-season he found him to be "quiet and reserved" which are "ideal personality traits for a wicketkeeper". He then went on to talk about how much Harvey will benefit from the mentoring offered by himself and Wilson.

My question is simple: How?

They haven't trained together since pre-season - indeed the seconds don't even train with the first team - when does this 'mentoring' take place? What form does it take? Hosein has only been offered one chance all season and (unsurprisingly) was nervous at the crease. Is this the most appropriate development of our young, homegrown talent?

I have read this blog with interest as the topic of Harvey's treatment has been raised time and time again on this forum (and others) this year. I have found Peakfan's responses to be a little confusing at times; recently attempting to shut the topic down, describing it as a distraction and earlier on during the season I think there was a suggestion that discussion on here was being led by relatives and friends of the player himself!

My personal opinion is that a lot of people want to commmet and discuss his treatment this year, and for good reason. If it's of interest to the supporters (which it clearly is) then it should be discussed as often as people raise it. Granted it has been a recurring 'news item' on here all year, but perhaps because it's a worthy topic rather than a 'distraction'....

Just my thoughts...in the meantime let's hope this 'mentoring' works in the long-term, because at the moment it looks like a promising young careeer has been stifled and obstructed, and it's probably having a very negative affect on his confidence. Hosein desperately needs as much 1st XI match exposure as he can get. I sincerely hope he constitutes to be given those opportunities.

Rant over...!


Peakfan said...

Thanks Bob. A few comments:

You are confusing 'mentoring' and 'coaching'. A mentor shares details of what he (or she) has been through, to help the mentee better understand the challenges ahead. They provide guidance, motivation, role modeling and emotional support as it is required. It is a role I have carried out many times over the years and sometimes it is just a chat on the phone or over a drink, not always with people I was working with at the time. Coaching is completely different, in any career.

As for my 'attempting to shut it down' - I could do, anytime, by simply not publishing. It has certainly taken up a lot of my time in a difficult few months personally but I have tried to allow freedom of expression, even when old ground has been covered.

I just feel that it heaps unnecessary pressure on Harvey, if and when selected. The bottom line is that if he is good enough, as a batsman or wicket-keeper batsman, he will get picked. If it is felt he needs to work at certain things, or that someone else is better, he won't. Such is the way of sport and, whether at amateur or professional level, that is what happens.

And as for the exclamation regarding 'the family and friends' comment, well, it was, at one point. I have the emails to verify that, from two or three sources...

As I have said before, taking Daryn Smit and Harvey Hosein out of the equation, in any cricket side I always want my best keeper in that role. A good one will save you a lot of runs before he holds a bat in the chances and half chances he takes.

Having seen them both keep on a number of occasions, at the moment I feel that Smit is the better keeper. If the time comes that I feel Harvey has overtaken him, I will say so. But the lad is 20 and years from his peak. He will get first team exposure when he is ready and it is appropriate - not just because it is a nice idea. Then it is up to him to take advantage of that opportunity and maintain the highest of standards over weeks, months and different competitions.