This week Sam Northeast was named Kent County Cricket Club Vice-Captain for the 2014 season. Here Sam shares his views on the appointment and his hopes for the season ahead...
You are now officially vice-captain. What does that mean to you?
I'm really honoured. I see it as a learning position for me and it will give me the opportunity to get some experience under Keysy. Hopefully we will have a bit of success in the next few years and I will certainly be able to learn lots from him, that's for sure.
What type of leader are you?
I guess it's hard to know until you do the job yourself. I don't think you necessarily know and it's a case of working things out as you go along. I think Treddy found that last year. I have certainly enjoyed captaining the side on the two previous occasions I've been in charge. It's a big challenge and always fun to try and work out the various situations. It's something to look forward to, when and if it happens in the future, but being Rob's vice-captain is a great learning experience for me. However, my main focus and aim is to score runs for the team.
Rob is back in charge. How pleased are you to be working with him?
Rob has the necessary experience and I'm glad that he's got the enthusiasm to take on the leadership role again. I think it's great for everyone that he is back in charge as he has such wise shoulders. He will be able to steady the ship and get the team back to playing how we want to. We have some talented players and it is good to have his experience back leading the group again.
As Rob's deputy, you will work closely together. How exactly will it work between the two of you?
I guess it's like any new partnership, we will have to think of ways of making it successful and hopefully we can take the club forward. My role, I guess, is maybe looking a bit more to the future and focusing on the bigger picture. It's important to carry a culture forward and I will certainly look to do that. Keysy has all the experience and the needed qualities. He was successful in his first spell as captain. For me, it's about having a look and seeing how things go. I want to get in a position to try and help the team get results - that's the end result that we are all working towards.
And what is your brief on the new position?
I think it gives me an opportunity to see if captaincy is for me. When it does come up in the future, I will have learnt from one of the best so that can only stand me in good stead. There's no better guy to follow than Keysy. He will come back in and help set a culture that can hopefully last and be the bedrock for the county, moving forward.
James Tredwell is stepping down as captain. How would you assess his year in charge?
I don't think we got to see as much of him last season as he or perhaps the team might have liked. I think Treddy himself has said that he found it tough to balance his international and club commitments, but we just hope that his England career can keep on blossoming as he has lots to offer the national team. He can now just relax and get back to playing his best cricket.
There are some talented young cricketers at the Club. How much does it excite you that they will hopefully help to challenge for honours in the years to come?
Well, that's certainly my hope and the hope of everyone involved in the coaching set-up and at the Club. We are hoping that the youngsters can come in and impress and that the Academy can keep producing talented young cricketers. We want to challenge for titles in the future, like any other county. There would be something wrong if players don't continue to develop and come through. We've got to keep getting things right as there are some talented guys here and we all want to reap the rewards.
Finally, you've committed your future to the Club. It must mean a great amount to be a key part of the leadership group at your home county, doesn't it?
Yes, of course it does. It's a big year for me, staying with Kent was certainly what I wanted to do. It was the main choice for me and to get the opportunity to be vice-captain, alongside Keysy, is a great honour. Rob will be the main man, so I won't be taking on too much of a leadership role initially. I will be learning on the job and adding bits and pieces where necessary. Rob and I will work together but he is the main man to drive things forward.