New Worcestershire Head Bowling Coach Alan Richardson is relishing the opportunity to work again with Ed Barnard – and would not be surprised if he kicked on in his career in the same way as Chris Woakes.
Richardson initially recognised Barnard’s potential when he was working as a coach at Shrewsbury School during the winter in preparation for retirement from playing during his spell at Blackfinch New Road.
He also has seen how current England regular Woakes has made great strides forward during his spell as Bowling Coach at Warwickshire.
Now Richardson – a popular figure and legend amongst supporters at Blackfinch New Road with 250 plus wickets in four years – has been impressed with the progression made by Barnard and believes there is “potential for him to do more.”
Richardson said: I worked with Ed when I was at Shrewsbury School. I was a late starter into cricket so I experienced a ‘working’ life before cricket and I was a landscape gardener and it probably wasn’t everything I thought it would be.
“So when I left cricket, I wanted to make sure I went into something I loved. I tried lots of different things and coaching was one of the things that excited me.
“When I was playing my last two years here, I was a sports coach at Shrewsbury School and I helped out in the winter.
“That coincided with Ed being at Shrewsbury School. I wouldn’t say I take any credit in Ed’s rise but it was nice to build up a bit of a relationship, watched how he worked.
“I went on tour with him to Cape Town with Shrewsbury School and you just knew from there he was someone who was going to be a really good first class cricketer.”
Richardson added: “I think there is potential for him to do more as well so it’s really exciting to be back with him.
“In some respects, the way Ed works reminds me a lot of Chris Woakes with the temperament and skills that he shows.
“I think you have seen with Woaksey that he has been able to kick on and it wouldn’t surprise me that Ed might have those opportunities.
“I watch how he works and I liken cricket to problem-solving.
“Every day different questions are asked of you and a lot of the successful guys solve those problems quickly and work them out – and Ed is one of those.
“I think physically there is more potential in him and he has really bought into trying get more pace.
“Matt (Mason) certainly started that ball rolling and hopefully I will be able to help him do that.”
*Read a full interview with Alan Richardson, on his return to New Road, his memories as a player, and hopes for the future on the Worcestershire CCC website during the new few days.