Former Sussex Captain Michael Yardy has been through the mill in his extensive career and Daniel White caught up with him to chat about his expectations for 2014
Fifteen years after making his debut for Sussex, Michael Yardy has well and truly seen it all.
From the highs of international success to the lows of his well-documented battle with depression, he would be forgiven for a slight lack of motivation. Yet the left-handed all-rounder, who first played for Sussex in their under-10s team, has not seen his eagerness wane over the years.
“It’s always exciting early season because nothing has happened and there is lots of enthusiasm around the place,” Yardy smiles. “I think as long as you have the enthusiasm and the commitment to do well then you’ll do well and we have a good squad in place so there is no reason why we can’t push ourselves forward in terms of challenging. “
The side fell away during the closing stages of the County Championship last season and endured a very disappointing one-day campaign in 2013, however, the Hastings-born left-arm batsman feels their disappointments will help improve the squad.
“We’ve had a few years where we’ve kind of rebuilt and when you’ve had a period of consistency and success sometimes it comes as a bit of a shock but it can be a good thing because it can make you look at different areas that you maybe haven’t looked at in the past,” he explains.
Yardy, who was part of The Golden Decade squad, is convinced that with the winter’s additions, they are once again in a position to challenge this season.
“We’ve added well, we do have a lot of adaptability in the squad and if we stay tight as a unit, with a little bit of luck here and there, there is no reason why we can’t win trophies at the end of the season, so it is an exciting year,” Yardy enthuses.
Led by experienced Head Coach Mark Robinson, Yards, as he is known to teammates, feels that they are in good hands and can foresee the former Sussex player moving onto high honours in the future.
“He’s been here for a long time but he’s still got that genuine hunger and enthusiasm that’s never waned since I’ve been here and I think he’s a fantastic coach,” he reflects.
“He was rewarded with the England Lions job in the winter and will, I’m sure at some point, go on to further honours in terms of the coaching. It’s just a case of having that backing and having that opportunity but he’s certainly got everything in place.”
The former England limited-overs player has seen the club rise from obscurity to their all-conquering Sussex squad of the naughties, before their recent fall back into mediocrity and Yardy feels it is time for Sussex to deliver once again for the fans.
“I think the success the club had over 15 years means the expectation’s obviously a bit higher, which is right, and it’s important that we do deliver because when you’re a successful team you get better supported and it’s key that we keep getting people through the gates and that only comes from performance.”