Im­proved York­shire at­ti­tude has raised level of op­ti­mism

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT - CHRIS WATERS

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’.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.