Norfolk captain Iain Yule eager to begin re-building work
Interim Norfolk captain Iain Yule is confident he can help orchestrate the re-building job needed to put the county first team back on a firm footing.
The resignation of Jon Baker-Odlin as captain and retirement of player stalwarts Simon Clark and Ian Hardy have left the team in a state of transition, but Yule is confident that change can be for the good.
'I'm looking forward to a good season,' said Yule, who is hopeful of being appointed captain on a permanent basis at the next Norfolk executive meeting later this month. 'We've lost our captain and we have also lost two very good players in Simon Clark and Ian Hardy. They were both great servants for the county and they will not be easy to replace. We will also have a new secretary in Michael Devlin who will replace David Horsburgh. There are changes within the county and we want the changes to be for the good. It's onwards and upwards.'
Yule, pictured, last season's second team captain, admits he has got to build two teams and expects competition for places to be keenly-contested. The first team had an indifferent season in the Anglian League, finishing fourth having won two and lost three. The second team fared less well, not winning a match.
'I've got to find two teams,' said Yule. 'The first team had some reasonable results and the second team also did okay. We never won a match but we never got heavily beaten either. As a county we've not got the players to compete at second team level as players with two or three handicaps are coming up against plus handicappers.
'I've got six players who I know will be in the team and then six or seven who could play in either team and then around 20 players who could feature in the second team. There is plenty of competition for places for the second team and we need to be able to carry that on to the first team. There are some good young players like Kris Coop, Paul Reade and even my son Jack who are potential first-teamers.
'The selection, though, will be first and foremost based on results from the matches. If you get a point in your singles and a half in the foursomes then you're going to be playing regularly. If you lose your singles and foursomes then you're going to be on dodgy ground.
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'I'll be monitoring people's results at their clubs too and we'll also have some sit down team meetings,' he added.
Norfolk kick off their Anglian League campaign against holders Northamptonshire on Saturday, May 12, and Yule is hoping the team can show they mean business from the off.
'We've got a warm-up match with the RAF at Eaton in March. We got beaten last year and we aren't going to let that happen again. And we've got training sessions planned with leading county coach Craig Graver, so we plan to be ready come the first tee-off. It's a really good fixture to kick off with and I'm sure the lads will rise to the challenge.
'We're targeting a good performance in the league this year along with a good showing in the English Golf Union's men's county event in July.'