Berkhamsted Cricket Club looks set for a bright future after the appointment of an ambitious new head coach.
Riaz Richards joins Berko with a wealth of experience coaching in Britain and abroad, and he is eager to get stuck in to his latest challenge.
“As soon as I red about the job I knew I wanted to be part of the club,” he said. “I’m really excited and have said to the players that however hard they work, I will try twice as hard.”
Richards, who has worked in South Africa and Morocco, will take up a player/coach role at the club and insists that he is ready to put in the hard graft to ensure he will make his mark.
“I’m someone who is constantly learning myself,” he said “I’m not saying that I’m going to have all the answers but I’m quite happy to ask some of my connections and see if they can help me.
“I’m the type of coach who wants to work with anyone who is happy to put the work in.”
Richards lists rising England star Joe Root amongst his protégées after working with the 22-year-old while he was in Sheffield.
And he is hoping that the creation of an academy at Berkhamsted will help to unearth some more budding stars.
He said: “The academy will be for our most committed and talented juniors to try and fast track them into senior cricket and beyond. The training will be county-standard training.”
However, Richards – who has been playing cricket since the age of six – says that his focus will not only be on developing the younger members of the club.
“I want to encourage more youngsters to join the club but I do not want to just forger about the seniors,” he said.
“The main thing for me is when anybody of any age or any ability comes to me and says thank you for the work I have done to help them.
“For me it makes no difference what level they have reached; to see that you have helped someone to develop is what coaching is all about.”
Training for the 2013 campaign starts at Berkhamsted in the first weekend of February, and Richards is confident that this preparation can help the club to achieve their ambitions for the season.
“Our main aim is to challenge for promotion with the first and second teams at least,” he said.
“We are also trying to crate a ladies’ team to enter into the ladies’ league, as well as developing Sunday cricket at the club.
“For me, Berkhamsted are going about things the right way. There are a lot of clubs that just throw money at players but you don’t get results from that.
“I think it is admirable that the club is doing things the right way and looking at developing players with proper coaching.”