Ross Whiteley has hailed the impact on his career of Steve Rhodes as the Worcestershire all-rounder looks to force his way into England's squad for the 2016 ICC World T20 in India.
Whiteley has blossomed at New Road since leaving Derbyshire mid-way through the 2013 season and only recently signed a new four year contract with the County.
He finished as joint top sixes scorer in the 2015 NatWest T20 Blast with 29 and then ended the season in fine form as part of the LV = County Championship side.
Now Whiteley – and Joe Clarke – is part of the England Performance Programme and Lions set-up this winter for five T20s against Pakistan 'A' in the UAE where Rhodes is also part of the coaching team.
Whiteley said: "When I moved to Worcestershire, that was a time when I really refocused my energy and my goals and I realised where I wanted to be and what I needed to do to get there.
"A couple of years working at Worcester, working with the coaches I almost worked out my game instead of trying to please other people and playing how they wanted me to play. I've been pretty lucky in how it's paid off in pretty much all formats.
"Steve Rhodes has been great. He's a Yorkshireman like myself so we get along and understand each other.
"He works very hard. He's very enthusiastic which is what you need in a young side. He's put a lot of time and effort into me personally and he's backed me and that's one of the biggest things.
"He gave me a contract when he didn't have to and knew not too much about me. It seems to have paid off and obviously being here in the UAE, it will be good to show him what I've been working on and hopefully take into the New Year."
As regards earning a place in England's plans for the ICC World T20, Whiteley said: "I don't see why not. I'm touring out in the UAE which is obviously why it's there with the T20 coming up.
"If they think I've got the potential, and if I can put in a couple of performances (for the Lions) and train hard, then I'd love to be on the international stage."