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Kent head coach Matt Walker on Robbie Joseph’s return as bowling coach and new batting coach Toby Radford

Matt Walker believes the additions of Kent’s new batting and bowling coaches will offer a freshness to their squad - but concedes those who take such positions may never stick around for long.

Kent have appointed Toby Radford and ex-bowler Robbie Joseph to assist head coach Walker ahead of the new season.

Kent head coach Matt Walker – has discussed the arrival of new batting coach Toby Radford and the return of Robbie Joseph as bowling coach. Picture: Keith Gillard
Kent head coach Matt Walker – has discussed the arrival of new batting coach Toby Radford and the return of Robbie Joseph as bowling coach. Picture: Keith Gillard

They replace Alex Gidman, who departed to become England Women’s assistant coach, and Simon Cook, who stepped up from his bowling coach role to become director of cricket.

Radford becomes Kent’s fourth batting coach in just over two years. Others to have recently held the role are Dutch international Ryan ten Doeschate and one-time England player Mike Yardy, who left Kent in November 2021.

Walker, who will also start the season with a new club captain in Daniel Bell-Drummond, admitted: “It will be nice to have some consistency at some stage but, equally, it’s a bit of freshening up.

“Hopefully, these guys are here for a little while but, with the nature of that role, it chops and changes.

“People move onto bigger and better things quite quickly if you’re any good at it.

“So, we’re always prepared for that constant flow of people coming in.

“With Simon as director of cricket, the two new assistant coaches and the new captain, that gives us a sense of freshness, which is quite exciting.”

Joseph, who had enjoyed a stint with Gloucestershire in the same position, made 110 appearances for Kent between 2004 and 2011 and in 2014, in which he took 230 wickets across all formats.

The 42-year-old had been Gloucestershire lead bowling coach since last November and now moves back “home” to Kent.

Walker, who turned 50 early in 2024, said: “We have got an old face coming back to the club in Robbie Joseph.

“He’s someone that I played with and know very well.

“It’s quite nice that we have got an ‘old boy’ back. He’s very excited to be back, hence why he applied for the role.

“As he said in his interview, Kent is home for him and it’s somewhere where he grew up, learning his game.

“He came over here from the Caribbean and did his schooling at Sutton Valence before being involved with the county and having a number of pretty good years with the club.

“Obviously, he’s gone away and done some other things while staying within coaching. He did really well at Gloucestershire.

“They gave him an opportunity there and he has really grown in that role. He’s very highly thought-of. He’s a great acquisition.

“He’ll be very different to Simon - but I like what he’s got to say. He’s very straightforward in his thinking and will drive the lads on, and improve that bowling unit enormously.

“We’re very excited to have him on board.”

Radford, meanwhile, previously has worked as head coach of Middlesex and Glamorgan. He was also batting coach for West Indies’ senior team during their T20 World Cup success in 2012 and the Test series win against England in 2019.

Walker said: “We have got an extraordinarily high-quality batting coach, which is almost impossible not to sign!

“I have known Toby for a long time. I played against him, he’s my sort of age and, when you look down at the CV, it’s filled with a lot of quality.

“He’s been a head coach himself.

“He’s travelled around the world and been a batting coach. He does a lot of private coaching now with international players.

“Funnily enough, he had done a little bit with Joey Evison and Sam (Billings), prior to us signing him. It was a bit of a no-brainer.

“He will improve our batsmen. Technically? Absolutely. Hopefully, mentally, as well, and with that game awareness that we’re trying to improve in our batsmen.

“We’re very lucky and we have been very lucky in the past few years with all of our assistant coaches - certainly in the batting department, where they have changed quite frequently.

“We’ve had a lot of quality and Toby adds to that long list. He started in January and has already done some great work with the lads, and I know they have really enjoyed working with him.”

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