Paul Nixon on Lan­cashire’s new coach

The Cricket Paper - - FRONT PAGE - PAUL NIXON www.paulnixon­cricket.com

Lan­cashire have fol­lowed in the foot­steps of York­shire and Kent this sea­son by ap­point­ing a fa­mil­iar face as new head coach. York­shire went with An­drew Gale, Kent with Matt Walker and now Glen Chap­ple has taken the reins at Old Traf­ford. It will be a good chal­lenge for him.

He’s been in the back­ground a bit hav­ing been first team coach un­der Ash­ley Giles, and he would have learnt a lot from Giles and Peter Moores. He would have learnt from ev­ery coach he played un­der be­cause you’re al­ways pick­ing up things and see­ing what works well and what doesn’t work as well.

‘Chap­pie’ is Red Rose through and through, which is great. He un­der­stands the club from grass­roots level and knows the club ethos.

He’s a qual­ity bloke, too, but also very level-headed. He’s ap­proach­able, but with great hu­mil­ity and re­spect. He’s one of the best to have never played Tests for Eng­land, but he kept get­ting in­jured at the wrong time. That’s never got him down though.

Glen’s coach­ing po­si­tion has grown and de­vel­oped across the last few years. His tran­si­tion from player to coach has grown nicely. It’s not al­ways that smooth, but it has been for him.

Chap­pie has been cap­tain and se­nior pro at Lan­cashire, but there can be a ques­tion as to whether some­one who has been play­ing along­side his new charges so re­cently can have the nec­es­sary author­ity.

Ul­ti­mately it’s about com­mu­ni­ca­tion. You have to make tough de­ci­sions, and it can be dif­fi­cult to make those when you’ve been in the same boat as these play­ers re­cently, but as long as the com­mu­ni­ca­tion is right all the way through the process then de­ci­sions be­come com­mon­sense and pretty much al­most in­stinc­tive.

Con­ver­sa­tions on con­tracts are had months be­fore they end, but they still need to be mea­sured de­ci­sions. It all has to be done in the right way and there are dif­fer­ent ways to com­mu­ni­cate with dif­fer­ent play­ers.

Chap­pie will have Mark Chilton along­side him, who, like Glen, doesn’t have the widest range of ex­pe­ri­ence, hav­ing played 196 first-class games. That means you’ve got two quite in­tro­verted char­ac­ters and that’s not al­ways the best mix. Some­times op­po­sites can be quite good. They’ll chal­lenge each other, but Glen and Mark are two sim­i­lar per­son­al­i­ties. It’s not the worst thing be­cause it means they are likely to be on the same wave­length and I’m sure they work well to­gether hav­ing known each other for so long.

As long as you’re skilled enough to do the job, there’s no is­sue with hav­ing an in­ex­pe­ri­enced head coach.You have to

Glen is ap­proach­able, but with great hu­mil­ity and re­spect. He’s one of the best to have never played Tests for Eng­land although that never got him down

start some­where. I know when I left Le­ices­ter­shire, I could have done a job but I would have been nowhere near as good a coach as I am now hav­ing been up­skilled.

You learn how to coach, it’s not just about coach­ing, you be­come a pro­fes­sor of coach­ing so you can teach oth­ers how to do it too. That’s the dif­fer­ence and it’s quite a key at­tribute to have.

As I said ear­lier, it’s be­com­ing more com­mon to see coun­ties take a risk and go for the fresh faces and fresh ideas rather than an ex­pe­ri­enced head.

It’s not just lim­ited to cricket with foot­ball clubs reg­u­larly giv­ing in­ex­pe­ri­enced man­agers a job. It’s good for the fu­ture of the game and it’s safe for the clubs.

Coaches who are more in­tro­verted need a cap­tain who is slightly more ex­tro­verted, and is more a risk taker, and can lead guys into bat­tle. The cap­tain needs to be the loud voice and give the in­spi­ra­tion, so that’s a big de­ci­sion for Glen to make this year.

Kent have done it a sim­i­lar way with Walker tak­ing over as head coach, though there is the ex­pe­ri­ence of Al­lan Don­ald there. If you’d have said to me while I was at Kent that ‘Walks’ would be head coach in a few years’ time, I wouldn’t have be­lieved you.

But that looks like a good set-up with Don­ald’s ex­pe­ri­ence bound to help and it’s a smart move to get him in.Walks will still be the man in charge and ul­ti­mately ev­ery de­ci­sion will be his. It’s al­most like a ‘pro­fes­sor and a tu­tor’ sce­nario.

At most places, the pro­fes­sor is the head coach with his as­sis­tant as the tu­tor, con­stantly learn­ing. But at Kent now, Don­ald will play the pro­fes­sor role, but let­ting Walks, as tu­tor, learn the ropes him­self. It’s a good way to do things and lets Walker be­come his own coach, and he will learn quickly that way.

PIC­TURE: Getty Im­ages

Wicket-taker to de­ci­sion-maker: Glen Chap­ple, left, must learn quickly in his role as head coach

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