Kent interim assistant coach Jason Gillespie joined up with the Kent squad this week for the first of two pre-season fixtures ahead of the Specsavers County Championship opener on Friday (7 April).
He reflected on a comprehensive win against Leeds-Bradford MCCU and his first week at the club.
The former Australia Test paceman said: “I’m really enjoying it. The weather’s great, warmer than I’m used to in England at this time of year.
“I’ve been made to feel very welcome by all the players, coaching staff and everyone in the office.
“It’s been an amazing welcome. I can’t ask for anything more and am delighted to have this opportunity for short stint here at Kent.”
After a successful spell as head coach and two Championship titles at Yorkshire, Gillespie is keen to get the most of his time in the Garden of England.
“I didn’t think I’d be back in England so quickly after my time at Yorkshire but this coaching consulting opportunity came up to help out the club and I jumped at the chance.
“There’s a lot of talent. There’s a really good vibe and feel: a lot of little things you can tell that the lads care for each other and support each tohe rin what they’re striving to achieve.
“Good clubs and good teams have that. I’m certainly feeling that at Kent in the short time I’ve been here. I’m looking forward to the next few months here.
He was on the winning side when he last visited The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence as Yorkshire pipped Kent in the Royal London One-Day Cup quarter-final match.
“Yorkshire were full strength that day and Kent took us down to the wire. We knew they were a skilful team and quality players.
“Yorkshire were fortunate to get through that game and there were lots of good performances. It was a tight tussle, a good game of cricket.
“Dizzy” worked with Joe Root and several England players at Yorkshire and believes there are Kent players that can make the grade at international level.
“There are a number of lads who could. As a coach, you encourage everyone to live their dream and strive to represent their country. That’s part of your job as coach to help lads achieve their dreams. If we can help them along that journey and give any support we can, we will.
“I’m here to help. What that looks like day-to-day could vary. There’s a good group of bowlers and I’ll look to work with them and see how they are going.
“Throwing balls at the batters, hitting catches and having those cricket conversations, talking and learning about the game. If I can pass on anything that the lads think will be relevant, I’ll do that.”
Looking ahead to Friday’s first fixture against Gloucestershire, he believes the signs are good.
“We played Leeds-Bradford and the bowlers showed some good pace and good skills.
“I think it’s all about encouraging the lads to work hard and improve little things that add up to get them where they want to be.
“The [FGS Plant Tour] trip to Antigua and the pre-season means the lads are ready for the new season. It wouldn’t shock me if a number of the lads have bumper years.”