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Kent head coach Matt Walker not planning on a big upheaval

By Mark Stokes

Matt Walker says there will be no mass panic or upheaval in the wake of Kent’s failure to win promotion to Division 1 of the Specsavers County Championship.

After an impressive start to the campaign which saw them win four of their opening five Division 2 matches, Kent’s challenge has petered out in the final weeks.

Without a championship win since May, Kent went into their penultimate match against Derbyshire at Chesterfield on Tuesday in fourth 56 points behind leaders Worcestershire and 43 adrift of second-placed Nottinghamshire, who need just six points from their remaining two games to put themselves out of reach.

Matt Walker Picture Andy Jones

Matt Walker Picture: Andy Jones

Head coach Walker admits the squad are resigned to being in Division 2 next season but he remains optimistic about their future prospects.

He said: “In terms of what we wanted to achieve, the season is over. We set our sights high on achieving promotion and thought we had a good chance but it hasn’t happened. 

“It was always going to be a real challenge but we just haven’t won enough games.

“We’ve had some really good individual performances, some great milestones and highlights but consistently we haven’t played well enough with ball and bat, particularly in those key moments when you need to."

Walker says he is pleased the core of the squad including all-rounder Darren Stevens – who is on the verge of signing another one-year deal – are staying but he says everyone, including himself, needs to raise the bar.

He added: “We’re not a million miles away, that’s the good thing. 

“It’s not a mass panic certainly, we don’t need a massive upheaval. There’s been enough evidence this year to see what quality there is in the team, the trick is putting it all together at the same time, enough of the time.

“Bowling, batting, catching, all those areas have got to improve not just in the championship but across all three formats.

“That said, the nucleus of the side is a good one, a really strong one and (next season) this group will be another year older, another year wiser."

Read the full story in this week's Kentish Gazette

 

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