Head coach Mark Davis is ‘excited’ as Sussex CCC prepare to start the new cricketing season.
The 44-year-old was appointed to the role in November after former manager Mark Robinson left the club to become head coach of England women.
Alongside newly-appointed Susscaptain Luke Wright, Davis has the challenge of getting the club back into division one of the county championship after their relegation last year.
Speaking at a press conference today at the 1st Central County Ground in Hove, he said: “People are very excited, obviously, for the new season. We are in division two of the championship, so that is quite exciting as well because we are going to places we have not been before, or certainly for a long time.
“It is good to have Luke on board and it is good to have, sort of, a new-look squad and there is a lot of excitement around.
“It is not as though we are going to change it all around and it is going to be totally new but we will certainly do things slightly differently.
We have a great squad and we have high expectations of the squad as well. The boys have trained brilliantly all winter and I have been really impressed once we came back to see how hard everyone has worked.Skipper Luke Wright
“I have a different style to Robbo (Mark Robinson) in many ways and I think that is gratitude to two great coaches of Peter Moores and Mark Robinson.
“I have had a learning curve from those two. I will certainly do it my way but not hugely different. We will tweak a couple things and do it slightly differently.”
The South African firmly believes the players can show their quality in a season which involves high expectations.
He said: “We are a club that has done particularly well in four-day cricket over the past decade so the pressure is there.
“I want to take the pressure off the players. I think we have a really good squad and if we keep the players on the pitch we will be competing.
“We have a squad that is very well-balanced for four-day cricket as well, good spinners, good seamers, good batters and generally just a very, very good team.
“I think the challenge will be keeping players on the pitch and the challenge will be not getting too far ahead of ourselves. Let us just focus on game by game, ball by ball and I think we will be fine.”
The head coach welcomed the signing of New Zealand international Ross Taylor and believes the overseas player is a great acquisition for the club.
He said: “It is not that easy in this day and age, in this sort of landscape if you like, to sign oversees players for as long as we have.
“He will bring his leadership to the table as well. He has captained his country which is a great asset for Luke (Wright) as well, to have somebody else in the dressing room who is going to help him lead.”
Wright, announced as captain across all three formats of the game after Ed Joyce’s decision to step down, is equally excited about the summer ahead.
The 31-year-old said: “We have a great squad and we have high expectations of the squad as well. The boys have trained brilliantly all winter and I have been really impressed once we came back to see how hard everyone has worked.
“People have moved forward in their games watching them in the nets. There is a lot of excitement around.
“Everyone is looking fit and ready and if we can keep people on the park then we obviously give ourselves a great chance.”
by SAM TRUELOVE
Follow Sussex CCC on this website throughout the summer
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