Jandre Coetzee has thrown down the gauntlet to Sudbury’s youngsters to help the cricket club achieve their highest ever league finish.
The South African professional believes the club’s young guns need to take more responsibility as they chase their target of a top-half finish in the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League.
A six-wicket haul from 29-year-old Coetzee at Saffron Walden on Saturday, allied with Darren Batch’s 52 with the bat off 58 balls, helped Sudbury record their third win in their opening 10 games.
But after shrugging off some early relegation worries with two wins in their last three matches, the medium left-arm bowler wants to see the club’s young players step up and capture the headlines.
“Things have not changed much, it is down to the pro or Batch to score runs,” said Coetzee of assessing the club since returning after playing in 2009 and 2010, the latter their promotion season.
“But I am working with the youngsters; Nathan Poole and James Poulson — who is an explosive player but needs to learn — Adam Mansfield and Rory Darkins. These are all guys who can score runs and they just need to believe it.”
The Girqualand West and Eagles player doubled his own wicket tally on Saturday having been playing with an ankle brace as he slowly recovers from an injury sustained in South Africa that has affected his whole bowling action.
But while he admits it is now a psychological thing to recover fully, he is also having to play a sports psychologist role with the Sudbury team.
“I am still trying to get the youngsters to take more responsibility and improve their batting and bowling,” he said.
“I have not been happy with the mentality of the team — they wanted to go out for a draw and I want to get a more positive mindset.
“We want to try and win — When you draw a game and lose a game you can get the same amount of points.”
Ahead of a home game with Burwell on Saturday (11am), Coetzee is pleased the side seem to have begun to rediscover their swagger as they look to beat their seventh-place finish in 2011.
“Clacton was the first time we have bowled out a team and it just seems like the guys are getting a wake-up call we can compete,” he said.
Billy Moulton-Day is set to replace Andy Simmons.