Category Archives: Interviews

Moores deserves England job – Luis Reece

 

Peter Moores

Lancashire’s latest batting star Luis Reece believes coach Peter Moores would be deserving of the England job, after the current Lancashire coach declared his interest in the role.

 Moores will be interviewed this week for the job, with current coach Ashley Giles, Trevor Bayliss and Mick Newell thought to be the other candidates in the running.

 Giles and Moores are seen as serious contenders for the head coach position vacated by Andy Flower and Reece thinks Moores would be a more than worthy recipient of the job.

 ‘‘Yeah of course he deserves it,” Reece told Quays News.

 “He’s one of the best coaches, if not the best coach in England. If they do come knocking on the door, then there’s no one else who deserves it more than him.”

 Reece played a major part in Lancashire’s stroll to promotion last season, with eight fifties at an average of 55.53, and he is confident the side can continue their impressive form in the new campaign.

 ‘‘Last year we set out the goal of getting promoted straight away, and we were able to do that in great style in the end,” he said.

 “We did it quite easily so that was a great satisfaction. Hopefully this year we can reproduce the 2011 form when we won the trophy’’.

 Despite the left-handers’ impressive Championship form one-day opportunities were hard to come by, with no appearance in the shorter format last term. But Reece does not seem overly concerned, preferring to focus on team objectives instead.

 ‘‘I just played the four-day stuff last year. All I can do is keep scoring runs, and then if there is an opening brilliant, I’ll be ready if and when I’m needed. The main aim is for the side to keep winning, so we’ll see what happens’’.

 One of the most striking aspects of Lancashire’s triumphs in recent years has been the parallel success of the academy with players such as Reece, Kyle Hogg, Simon Kerrigan and Karl Brown all appearing, amongst others.

 One constant throughout the academy system has been coach John Stanworth, who has helped guide and nurture the careers of these players at early stage.

 ‘‘Stanny’s done a great job,” said Reece. “Being part of the academy I’ve seen what he does first hand and he does a fantastic job. It shows with the amount of young players that are now turning into full time professionals.”

 If Peter Moores was to secure the England job, Lancashire should have no problem appointing within. Stanworth, first team assistant coach Gary Yates and veteran fast bowler Glen Chapple having all been at the club for a considerable amount of time and would bring vast experience to the role.

 For Reece, the goal is clear. He must re-establish himself at the top of the order during the opening stages of the season while looking to convert more steady fifties into match-winning hundreds at a considerably greater level.

Jos Buttler looking towards a four-day future

 

Buttler

Lancashire’s stellar new signing Jos Buttler is hoping a regular stint behind the stumps in four-day cricket can take his game to the next level – a place in the England test team.

 Buttler left his home county Somerset in the winter with a slightly heavy heart, as fierce competition with fellow England hopeful Craig Kieswetter led to a lack of opportunities as wicketkeeper in the longer format.

 The 23-year-old is regarded by many as the future of England’s one-day side, with a potent blend of power hitting and outrageous improvisation making him a threat to any attack in world cricket.

 But with a relatively modest first class average of 31.73, Buttler must improve if he is to gain the full attention of England’s next coach. After a poor winter for Matt Prior, there is even more incentive to press for a place.

 ‘‘I’ve obviously come here with huge ambitions for my own career,” Buttler told Quays News. 

“I think here is a place which it’s going to help me do that. Working with Peter Moores and playing at this club, and keeping in the four-dayers as well will take my game to the next level and hopefully I will put in good performances and get noticed by the right people’’.

 Buttler freely admitted that his wicket-keeping needs to improve, and that he was being held back at Somerset.

 With Old Trafford pitches offering spin in recent times, his keeping when up to the stumps will be duly tested, especially given the quality of Simon Kerrigan and Stephen Parry.

 ‘‘I’ve been the wicketkeeper in the limited overs stuff and not wicket-keeping all the time I feel like I was taking a big risk to my place, not giving myself the best chance of performing for England if I’m not keeping regularly.

 ‘‘My wicket keeping needs to improve and to do that I have to be keeping all the time’’.

 A decision was made to rest Buttler during Lancashire’s current season opener against Nottingham after a long winter, but that hasn’t dampened his excitement to get out on the pitch with his new club. 

‘‘It’s very much a new chapter, so I’m excited to be here,” he said.

“It’s a great ground, a great club with great traditions, so it’s great to be part of it and I’m looking forward to playing in my first game.”

 With former England coach and a wicketkeeper himself Peter Moores at the helm, there is no better place for Buttler to improve.

England hopeful Moores tips Lancashire for Championship title

Peter Moores has tipped Lancashire to win the County Championship on their return to the top flight this season.

 Whether he is around to see it through could be another matter, however.

 The former England coach is being strongly linked with a return to the national job following the departure of Andy Flower after the 5-0 defeat in this winter’s ashes.

 Moores was controversially sacked as England coach in 2009 after falling out with Kevin Pietersen. But with the South African no longer part of the England set up, the Lancs coach has emerged as one of the front runners for the vacant role.

 Despite his interest in the England job, Moores is fully focused on the start to Lancashire’s County Championship season, which begins away to Nottinghamshire on Sunday.

 ‘‘At the moment it’s a case of we’ve got a season to run, it’s my current job and I love it. It’s a fantastic job,” Moores told Quays News at Emirates Old Trafford earlier today (Friday April 4).

 “We’ve got great support and a great set of players. So I’m just focusing on what we’re doing here, and we’ve got a big game coming up on Sunday.’’

 Lancashire gained promotion back to the first division of the County Championship last season at the first time of asking after being relegated in 2012, just a year after winning the title.

 The 2011 success proved this group of players has the ability to win division one, and the former wicketkeeper is confident his youthful side can mount a title challenge.

 ‘‘I definitely think there’s a chance we could win it,” said Moores.

 “There are some really good sides in the division so it won’t be a simple task to win it, but I think we’re as competitive as anybody else.

 ‘‘The key is getting players playing well early. Jos Buttler’s joined us which is a good strength, we’ve got Jimmy Anderson in those first four games which will be a real bonus I think, especially with the early season so, yes, we can win it’’.

 Lancashire sent a clear message to their competitors with the signing of England’s one-day keeper Jos Buttler during the winter, who will look to increase his chances of a test match call-up with a prolonged period behind the stumps for his new county.

 ‘‘He is very keen to push on as a four day player,” said Moores. “He wants to push for a test match place so he wants to be playing four day cricket which is exciting for him, to keep in that format of the game.

 ‘‘But I think as a batter we have all seen him be very explosive in one-day cricket, and it’s a chance for him to try and start showing what a quality player he can be in the longer format.’’

 Lancashire’s youth team has impressed in recent years, with the likes of Anderson, Simon Kerrigan, Stephen Parry, Karl Brown and Luis Reece all emerging from the academy in recent years.

 Promising young wicketkeeper Alex Davies is also likely get his chance behind the stumps this season when Buttler is away on international duty.

 There is plenty of confidence ahead of the new season, and the first four day match of the season at Trent Bridge should offer Lancashire’s pace bowlers plenty of assistance in chilly April conditions.

 Added Moores: ‘‘It’s an exciting place for us to go and play because we’ve got swing bowlers in people like Hogg, Anderson, they’ll be looking forward to bowling there’’.

 Captain Glenn Chapple is out of Sunday’s game with a hamstring injury, whilst Buttler will be rested after his England exertions in Bangladesh. Paul Horton will stand in as skipper.

John Stanworth: Lancashire’s silent mastermind?

‘‘IF I had to choose one quality, it would be character.’’ These are the words of Lancashire’s Academy Director John Stanworth, the man who has been there from the very beginning.

It is a quality outlined by Lancashire’s rising star Luis Reece, an Academy graduate who has been with the club since 2008.

The opening batsman enjoyed a stunning debut season in 2013 after breaking through from the second team, scoring eight fifties in 16 innings with a staggering average of 55.53. But the left-hander has not always had things his own way.

‘‘With Luis, he has had some serious wake-up moments,’’ Stanworth explains.

‘‘We signed a left-arm seamer in his final year as an academy player that stopped him getting him games, which was a slap in the face for him.’’

Reece’s cricket coach in the Leeds-Bradford University team reinforced the message that his bowling may not take him to the standards that county cricket demands.

However, these successive blows did not deter Reece, serving instead as an incentive to make the most of his abilities and work hard on his batting.

The fruits of his labour came to the fore in the 2013 season; his total of 722 championship runs was bettered only by overseas veterans Simon Katich and Ashwell Prince at Lancashire. The 23-year-old’s success is just the tip of the iceberg for a club who promote from within like no other.

The academy opened in the winter of 2002, with great success. Out of the first 15 players, 12 made it professional, with players like Kyle Hogg, Tom Smith, Simon Kerrigan and Karl Brown all emerging.

‘‘It wasn’t so much that they were technically better, it was the content of their character, their desire to improve their game’’, Stanworth claims of these players, who have each made their mark on the club.

A close relationship with head coach Peter Moores remains a vital part of the process.

‘‘The work I have got with Peter Moores is a really strong one,’’ Stanworth says.

‘‘He gives a top to bottom approach. He knows what he wants, he communicates that to the players and to the coaches that work alongside him, so I’m able to drip-feed that down to academy players.

Academy players will see that the vast majority of our first team are filled with people who not too long ago were in academy shoes’’.

With a new deal that keeps Moores at the club till 2015, Lancashire fans can expect plenty more young stars to rise from the club’s well-oiled youth system.

One of the most difficult things in sport is bridging the gap from academy level to the first team. It is Stanworth’s job to manage this jump: ‘‘As you step up things happen much quicker, so it’s not the fact that you can’t adapt it’s just the suddenness of that need to adapt, so although we can present artificial challenges where you are preparing them for that level, the actual reality of it is quite a thing’’, says the former wicket-keeper.

It is therefore up to Stanworth to work on the mental aspect of a young player’s game: ‘‘Mentally you do make a shift. If I do my job properly, it’s not a big step to move from those various levels you have described, from academy to second team, from second team to first team.

The system we have seems to get over those mental hurdles quite quickly; because we were one of the first counties to do twelve-month contracts we involved these younger players in a pro-environment early.’’

Despite the constant production of academy players to a successful first team, one that won the Championship on the last day of the 2011 season with graduates Karl Brown and Stephen Croft at the crease, England honours have somewhat eluded this group.

Simon Kerrigan was called up to the fifth test against Australia this summer, but with figures of eight overs 0-53, it is a debut he would rather forget.

Brown, capable of producing some delicious shots, was one of a few Lancashire academy players to represent England under 19’s, but has found consistency harder to come by at professional level. It is something that may change in the years ahead, with Lancashire’s vibrant second XI winning two competitions in 2013.

Hasseeb Hameed, recently called up to the England Under 19 squad, is highly regarded, ‘‘Hammeed excites me in the same way that I was excited when I worked with a John Crawley as a coach and saw Mike Atherton,’’ proclaims Stanworth.

It is a bold statement, but one that portrays the Lancastrian’s genuine belief in his new batch of talent.

Hammeed isn’t the only exciting prospect, big-hitting Liam Livingstone has signed a one-year deal with the club, whilst Rob Jones, Alex Davies, Harry Dearden and Saqib Mahmood have all shown potential in a group that carry ‘high’ expectations and provide each other with excellent competition.

‘‘One of the strengths of our academy is that there is no pecking order, just cause somebody’s in the England set-up doesn’t give them the right to be selected.’’ the 53-year-old says.

The success of the academy is something that ultimately ‘satisfies’ Stanworth, but there is no time to look back, as the next wave begins to build, and the potential for these players to ‘deliver at next level’ is where the excitement comes from for Lancashire’s eternal Academy mastermind.