NortheaSt SayS hIS SIde muSt go out and be brave
Skipper Sam Northeast says Kent have no excuses for failure and called on his squad to prove they are good enough to win the title.
Kent begin their quest for Specsavers County Championship promotion with the visit of Gloucestershire to Canterbury on Friday (11am) with Northeast set to return to the side after a hamstring strain.
Despite insisting he has not ‘stewed over’ Kent’s failure to go up last season – despite finishing second in Division 2, Northeast claims the players want to make their point by going one better this summer.
He said: “I want to win something. We have made strides, there is no doubt about that – look at the Championship from the year before to last year. If we can make some more strides, I think we’ll go close.
“We aren’t the finished article but we are getting closer. We gave younger players the opportunity and now we’re starting to see the rewards.
“When you’re young you make mistakes but now those excuses are gone. These guys have played a lot of cricket now.
“Sides will fear us this year. We’re coming into a season as optimistic as I have been and the guys are as well prepared as I’ve seen.
“Now it’s about going out and doing it. We’ve got an opportunity to go and win Division 2.”
Northeast echoed his players and head coach Matt Walker in claiming Kent don’t want to be ‘nearly men’ any more.
He said: “What is it, three or four quarter-finals in the last few years? It’s great to be getting there, we must be doing something right but it’s time for us to win.
“Now it’s about, in those big games, big players standing up to be counted. That’s the big challenge for us now. We need to go out and be brave. No fear of failure.
“We’re definitely good enough to go and win something this year, that’s the message to guys – go out and play with freedom and be brave in those big moments.
“There’d be nothing better than to see us win Division 2 and a one-day trophy. Being a Kent lad growing up, I want to see success back at the Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.” He added: “When we had our fourday chat the guys said we don’t need to change a huge amount – we played some brilliant cricket last year.
“There are little places where we can tinker and look to get better but we’re a good side. I can feel the confidence. “We want to become a side that is winning
‘I can feel the confidence. We want to become a side that is winning and aggressive’