Arnold on the mend and looking forward to 2010

Wednesday 25th November 2009

Kent bowling coach Geoff Arnold (pictured) has spoken of his delight after agreeing to take on a greater role in the 2010 season. The former England fast-bowler is well known to new team director Paul Farbrace and will take on a more enhanced role as Kent return to the first division of the LV= County Championship. Arnold (GA) is currently recovering from shoulder surgery and spoke to the Kent website (KW) during a recent spell of rehab with Kent physio Nimmo Reid.

KW: Firstly Geoff, how is the shoulder?

GA: It“s coming along nicely, thank you. The surgeon, Andrew Wallace, is happy with how the operation went. He seems to think that it was a total success so I“m pleased with that. The operation was needed; I guess it“s an accumulation of 30 to 40 years of bowling. I“ve been in cricket for as long as I can remember. I guess all the playing and practising has taken its toll!

KW: How is the shoulder feeling now?

GA: It is still a bit stiff and fairly sore but I“m told that is to be expected. I had the operation eight weeks ago now and the shoulder was in a sling for a month. I“ve been having some extensive rehab over the last couple of weeks and I am gradually getting more and more advanced with the exercises I am doing. It is coming along nicely so I will be fully ready for the start of next season.

KW: After a long association with Surrey, you are now with Kent. How are you finding it?

GA: I“m thoroughly enjoying it. It“s been a breath of fresh air to go to another county. I have worked at other counties in the past but it feels good here at Kent. All of the lads are willing to listen and want to work hard, which is a bonus. You want people to be receptive to your ideas and you want people who are willing to try things. I have been fortunate to find that here at Kent.

KW: You seemed to really enjoy your first season, what pleased you most?

GA: Well there were a number of positives. I was delighted that we won the LV= County Championship, while it was also pleasing to get to finals day of the Twenty20 Cup. We played some good cricket throughout the season and everyone contributed. From my own personal point of view, I was pleased with the form Robbie Joseph showed early season. He started to bowl very well and it was frustrating that he suffered his shoulder injury. We also have some promising youngsters coming through. The likes of Phil Edwards, Warren Lee and Matt Coles all showed plenty of promise. I was particularly impressed with Colesy. He is a good all-round young cricketer. He has a nice bowling action and can bat too. We will continue to work hard with all of the youngsters because it will be pleasing and rewarding to see them make an impact at first-team level.

KW: Do you enjoy working with the young cricketers?

GA: Yes, I take great satisfaction from seeing them make their mark; I guess that“s what it“s all about. I did the same at Surrey. I worked with a young Martin Bicknell and saw him progress right the way through to England. Then, in later years, I was pleased with the development of Jade Dernbach and Chris Jordan. I primarily work with the bowlers but I also do sessions with the batsmen too. I find it very rewarding. It is pleasing when you see them doing well and showing their ability. You can see at Kent that lots of work goes in with the youngsters and that obviously helps when they get up into first-team reckoning.

KW: How did the move to Kent come about?

GA: I thoroughly enjoy my cricket and love being involved so it was always my intention to carry-on when I left Surrey. I“m friends with Simon Willis and put a call in to see if there would be an opportunity at Kent. He asked me to come in and see how it went. I haven“t looked back. I initially came in for pre-season last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. It just seemed to snowball and now I am getting more and more responsibility, which is pleasing.

KW: You arrived before new team director Paul Farbrace but I know that your paths have crossed in the past?

GA: Farby is a guy who I really admire and I“ve known him for a number of years. I remember him when he was a regional coach with the ECB. I“m also old enough to remember him from his playing days with Kent and Middlesex! He then went on to run the Academy and second team, here at Kent, and we have always kept in touch. He did a great job with Sri Lanka and thoroughly deserves his chance with Kent.

KW: The squad still needs some strengthening but there are some good players here. How do you think things will go next year?

GA: I think we have a good chance of enjoying a decent season. Everyone wants to be in the first division, and we are no different. Hopefully, with the playing staff we“ve got, we can have a good season. As you rightly say, we need to do a bit of rebuilding because you need a real strong squad in the top division but I don“t see any reason why we won“t stay there. We are certainly looking forward to it.

KW: You touched on the greater personal involvement that you will enjoy. Are you looking forward to the extra commitment and travelling?

GA: Definitely. I am grateful to Kent for giving me this chance and I know I“ve got lots of experience to pass on. After chatting to Farby, I know there will be more time in the car, going away with the first-team, but that doesn“t concern me. I am used to travelling and I cannot wait for the greater involvement. I think we will enjoy a good season so I“m pleased to be a part of it.