Improved Yorkshire attitude has raised level of optimism
ANDREW GALE believes that the biggest difference between the Yorkshire team of today and 12 months ago is that the players have greater hunger and desire.
The first-team coach has admitted that he felt things were not quite right this time last year, when the club went on to struggle in the Championship.
Gale felt that a touch of complacency crept in after back-toback titles and a third-placed finish.
But after his fears were realised with the club only narrowly avoiding relegation he said that the players have come back desperate to succeed.
“I’d say that the biggest difference from last year is the hunger and desire,” said Gale. “I can see it there now.
“Last year I felt that a few players were probably just going through the paces and took their own form and the club’s form for granted, and it was difficult for me to bang the drum on that because they would argue that they had success in the years before that.
“It’s only when players reflect afterwards that they realise they were off it, but the hunger and desire to perform well, both individually and as a team, is really there this year.”
Gale did not hide his feelings after Yorkshire failed to hit their standards last season. But he insisted that the players did not need telling that they came up short.
“Sometimes, it takes a step back to go forwards,” he added.
“In the scheme of things it might have been a good thing to happen. At the end of the day it doesn’t matter how much you bang the drum, individuals have to realise things for themselves.
“To be fair to the lads, at the end of the season, they held their hands up and said, ‘That wasn’t good enough, we’ve got to be better’ and, since they’ve come back, they’ve been fantastic.”
It promises to be a happier season for Gale, who is keen to follow his achievement in winning two Championships as a captain with further success in a coaching capacity.
The 34-year-old is one of the brightest young coaches in the game, highly regarded by the Yorkshire hierarchy and relishing his second season in charge.
Another coach hoping to prosper this year is Gale’s former Yorkshire team-mate Anthony McGrath, now head coach of this week’s opponents Essex.
McGrath was assistant last year to new England bowling coach Chris Silverwood, the pair guiding Essex to their first Championship for 25 years, beating Yorkshire twice along the way.
“I played most of my career with Mags (McGrath), and he was someone I looked up to as a mentor coming through the ranks,” said Gale.
“I’m pleased for him that he got the Essex head coach’s job, and I hope that he’s successful – apart from in the first and fourth games of the season, when we play them.
“It will be a different challenge for him now that he’s head coach, but he’s a good lad and I’m sure he’ll do well. Mags is someone I have a lot of respect for.”
ANTHONY McGRATH: Former Yorkshire player is head coach of this week’s opponents Essex.
ANDREW GALE: Says that ‘sometimes it takes a step back to go forwards’.