The photo shows Mike Taylor, (CCLS Chair), making a presentation to Graeme Welch.
Photo courtesy of John Windle
‘A very proud man who is obviously proud to be working in his current capacity for Derbyshire and has a real passion for the club’ was how one member described his feelings about Graeme Welch at the end of his evening with the CCLS. Praise for his playing staff and total commitment to the club were constant themes of Graeme’s talk before a packed house at CCLS.
Graeme commenced the evening being skilfully interviewed by Mike Taylor, our CCLS Chair. They commenced their ‘chat’ looking back at Graeme’s appointment with Derbyshire in January 2014 and went on to talk about the highs and lows of the season.
The first thing Graeme thought he had to change was to instil additional discipline amongst the players and to improve training methods. He was allowed to appoint a number of people to assist him in this task. He obtained a good response from the players and his new team. It was therefore a real surprise that the team had such a poor start to the season. He did feel that things were coming together towards the end of the season and this was evident by the change in results obtained by the team.
He felt that the Club now provides everything to back up their players’ performance and it is now up to each individual to perform. He only wants players who have a real feeling for the club and made numerous references to players ‘playing for the badge’. They now have a great nucleus of young players coming through and it was important to him that the majority had all come through the Derbyshire system.
He was convinced that some of these younger players now playing for the club ‘could go all the way in the game’. Particular mention was made of young wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein who is only 18years old.
Replying to questions from Mike and members about his playing career he said that he respected and enjoyed playing particularly with Brian Lara and Allan Donald during his time at Warwickshire.
His most memorable season was with Warwickshire in 1994. The season included Lara’s 501* against Durham and saw the same batsman hit a century before lunch at the Queen’s Park. He eventually made 142 out of 280 on a day when sixteen wickets fell.
Wisden said of the 1994 season: ‘Warwickshire recorded the most remarkable season by any side in the history of English county cricket. Uniquely they won three trophies and arguably were only denied the fourth by a toss of a coin.
Looking back to elements of the game that were better than those currently, he highlighted that there were many more characters in the game in the past.
Asked what he had learnt from his first year at Derbyshire he quickly said ‘Keep calm and speak only when necessary’. For the future he wanted to constantly learn new things and to keep challenging himself.
Graeme Welch is the Elite Performance Director at Derbyshire CCC.
Graeme Welch - Stats
First Class Matches: 171, Innings: 265, Runs: 5075, Average: 22.86, Highest Score 115*
First Class Bowling: Balls: 28450, Runs: 15034, Wickets: 477, Average: 31.51, BB: 6/30
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