There are things known as old adages in sport, phrases that get bandied around every season: “He’s a one season wonder” “form is temporary, class is permanent”, “they’re too good to go down!”. As it happens, Nottinghamshire are close to disproving that last one at the moment, but one that adage that is proving to be correct is: “He’s too good to be out of work for too long.”
This is in relation to Leicestershire’s new assistant coach Graeme Welch.
Welch was announced today as Pierre de Bruyn’s assistant coach from the 1st of October. This means his absence from the game, following his resignation from his role of Elite Performance Director at Derbyshire County Cricket Club, was a short one.
It’s hardly surprising, considering Welch’s reputation in the game. Widely regarded as one of the top bowling coaches in the country, Welch has worked with bowlers at Essex, Warwickshire, Derbyshire and most impressively for the England Lions last winter.
While some may see this as a backward step for Welch, going from main man to second in command, it may be a better fit for him and allow him more opportunity to work within the England set up as well as to develop his own coaching business Kaizen Cricket, which he has recently set up with his colleague from Derbyshire Ant Botha.
Welch is a great signing for Leicestershire, and CEO Wasim Khan MBE was clearly ecstatic as he announced the signing today saying: “We’re delighted to announce Graeme as part of our new coaching structure at Leicestershire County Cricket Club.
“Graeme will be a fantastic assistant for Pierre with his tremendous experience of county cricket as both a player and coach.
“I’ve known ‘Pop’ for many years and I’m looking forward to him working alongside Pierre, as we continue to move the club forward following the excellent work of Andrew McDonald.”
Having someone with Welch’s experience on the coaching staff will be of great help to Leicestershire as they face a season of change, with current head coach Andrew McDonald returning to Australia and Pierre de Bruyn taking the reins. Having a trusty right hand man next to him will only make his job easier.
If de Bruyn and Khan are looking forward to working with Welch, the bowlers at the Fischer County Ground will be chomping at the bit to get back to training and feel the benefit of Welch’s bowling expertise.
Most of all, though, the person most looking forward to getting back into the county game is sure to be Welch himself, who will have been disappointed things did not work out for him at Derbyshire and will want to put that right at Leicestershire.
He certainly seems pleased with the move, saying “I’m really excited to be joining Leicestershire County Cricket Club. I’ve been looking in from afar and it’s clear that things are progressing nicely and moving in the right direction.
“These are exciting times at the Fischer County Ground and I can’t wait to get started in my new role.”
Welch certainly looks to be a perfect fit for Leicestershire, and likewise Leicestershire for Welch and fans. Members and staff will be hoping Welch can contribute to the recent improvement of fortunes at Leicestershire and, along with de Bruyn, guide them to the promised land of division one cricket.
However, as another old adage goes: “only time will tell.”