Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Bumpy’s Pride At Clocking Up Three Decades At Club “that Means A Hell Of A Lot To Me.”

Bumpy’s Pride At Clocking Up Three Decades At Club “that Means A Hell Of A Lot To Me.”

Steve Rhodes has spoken of his pride at registering 30 years as a player, coach and now Director of Cricket at Worcestershire and said: "This club means a hell of a lot to me."

The former England wicketkeeper-batsman clocked up two decades behind the stumps at New Road after moving from Yorkshire.

Then, after a brief spell as assistant coach to Tom Moody, he moved into the New Road hotseat mid-way through the 2005 season and has been there ever since, overseeing four promotions in the LV = County Championship and the 2007 Pro 40 League title.

Now he will be attempting to try and keep Worcestershire in Division One of the County Championship in their 150th anniversary year in 2015.

Rhodes, 50, said: "This club means a hell of a lot to me. I was very proud of playing out there as a player and now as a coach, looking out over New Road, who has got a better office than this?

"You are looking out over a beautiful green cricket area, over the cathedral and what has been a venue that has seen some magnificent players, playing for Worcestershire but also others who played here.

"You think of Don Bradman out there scoring his runs and all the other brilliant players who have played.

"It is a very famous club and to have a lengthy involvement with it is a great honour for me.

"I do see myself as a bit of a custodian of the club in many ways. I want to try and take care of it and improve matters for the members and supporters and try and get some trophies.

"It is challenging and it takes time but we are starting to get there."

Rhodes recruited experienced Gloucestershire batsman Alex Gidman on a two year contract at the end of the 2014 season but is aware that becoming established in Division One will also help to attract players.

He said: "It is not easy recruiting players because players these days, with the two divisional structure, very much want to see a side that has maintained some sort of status in Division One before sgning for them.

"They see it as 'if we do well in Division One, it will look better than in Division Two.' That's what they see.

"We have to earn that right to be in a position to recruit by trying our best to maintain status and do well in Division One, well enough so that players will trust us and will want to come to us.

"But in the meantime we are very proud of the development side and the way we are producing players now and long may that continue.

"It is a big year, a challenging year for us and we will see how far we've come on again."