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Northeast: Our potential is exciting

Friday 20th October 2017

Men’s First Team

Captain Sam Northeast admits Kent have a ‘big winter’ and plenty of reflection ahead but insists he remains excited by the potential within the squad.

Despite a flying start, Kent ultimately fell short of expectations in all three formats in 2017, and Northeast admitted they will review their recruitment tactics after a season which saw overseas stars Wayne Parnell, Yasir Shah, Adam Milne and Jimmy Neesham plus loanees James Harris and Joe Weatherley feature prominently in all formats.

He pointed to the Royal London One-Day Cup as a potential turning point of the campaign after four Specsavers County Championship wins.

Northeast said: “We obviously started off very well in the Championship and the squad was in a very good place actually at that point. The one-day comp came and we didn’t play very well in that and that changed the momentum.

“Players coming in and out is something we’re going to have to reflect on quite a bit. Something like overseas players – do we want someone for longer periods who can be a bit more sustainable or loan players, is that the right thing for us to do?

“Harris and Parnell were very good (at the start of the season) but then you lose that and suddenly your dynamic changes and you have to bring in players who haven’t played all year, trying to find their feet.

“It’s something we’re going to have to look at for sure. We’re going to have to look at the whole dynamic of our squad.”

Northeast insisted he was happy with the players at his disposal, but says he wants more out of them in 2018 to avoid a repeat of the disappointment which eventually arrived in all formats.

He said: “The most important thing this winter is that we want to get more out of our players. There are going to be some big winters for these guys, something’s going to need to improve.

“I want a few of these youngsters to put their hands up and really cement their places. It’s going to be a big winter for them – a lot of hard work, but there’s a lot of talent. Talent only takes you so far, though, so it’s a big winter for the club.

“We want to go up to Division One, we’ve said that for a long time. I think last year a lot of teams caught up with us, in terms of one day cricket especially. We’re going to have to raise our skills, get better, fitter, stronger.”

He didn’t rule out additions from outside the club, adding: “It’s an exciting proposition when you’ve got talent in the dressing room. If we improve what we have then we can look at where holes need to be filled – that’s the way to go about it.”