Video: Next generation determined to help Yorkshire back to the top

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WHEN Tom Kohler-Cadmore returned to the Yorkshire fold in the middle of the 2017 season, it brought together again two of the shining lights from the club’s youth system during the last 10 years.

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Of course, when Kohler-Cadmore first headed south as a youngster before going on to make a name for himself at Worcestershire, nobody could have predicted that either he or fast bowler Ben Coad would go on to be as successful as they have been so early in their careers.

With both still aged just 23, it is still too early to tell what kind of impact they will have long-term on White Rose cricket, but, given the club’s success rate in recent years in converting talented youngsters into pivotal first-team regulars and, in some cases, international stars, there is understandably enough reason to hope that the duo can spearhead the next generation at the club.

Kohler-Cadmore returned to Headingley at a time during the 2017 campaign when the club were still in with a shout of honours in all three formats of the game. In the end, failure to qualify from the T20 group phase was followed by disappointment in a semi-final exit of the Royal London One-Day Cup.

But, towards the end of the summer there was genuine concern that the 2014 and 2015 champions were in danger of being relegated to the second tier before securing an eventual, somewhat flattering fourth-placed finish – just two points above relegated Middlesex, the team who memorably pipped them to the title at Lord’s just 12 months earlier.

Ben Coad, left, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore show off Yorkshire's new T20 strips for the 2018 season. Picture: YCCC.Swpix.com

Ben Coad, left, and Tom Kohler-Cadmore show off Yorkshire's new T20 strips for the 2018 season. Picture: YCCC.Swpix.com

Despite those frustrations during Andrew Gale’s first year in charge as coach, there were a number of highlights – the batting of captain Gary Ballance, currently trying to nail down a place in England’s Ashes Test line-up, being an obvious one.

Another reason to be cheerful was the breakthrough season enjoyed by fast bowler Coad.

A product of Harrogate CC, Coad first played for Yorkshire in a Yorkshire Bank 40-over game back in 2013, but it was not until last year that he was given a first start in the Championship.

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I think the next couple of years are going to be really strong because you’ve got the older, more senior guys who are maybe coming towards the end, alongside youngsters who are pushing them

Yorkshire’s Tom Kohler-Cadmore

Nobody – except perhaps himself and those closest to him – expected the 23-year-old to have the impact he had this year, taking 50 wickets in the four-day game at an average of 20.86, rightly more than enough to see him sweep the board at the club’s end-of-season awards night with both the Players’ Player of the Season and Young Player of the Season awards.

For Kohler-Cadmore, who first played alongside him for Yorkshire Under-14 B, it came as no surprise.

“I just remember that whenever you played him, he never left a spot – he still doesn’t now,” said Kohler-Cadmore.

“Even when I left and I played against him when I was at Worcester, I’d always try and whack him, but I’d never be able to. So it’s nice to be back in the same team as him now and watch him frustrate batsmen on the other team.”

BRIGHT FUTURE: Ben Coad and Tom Kohler-Cadmore line up alongside one another for Yorkshire U nder-15s. Picture: YCCC.

BRIGHT FUTURE: Ben Coad and Tom Kohler-Cadmore line up alongside one another for Yorkshire U nder-15s. Picture: YCCC.

Coad is equally complimentary about his former teenage team-mate, brought back to Headingley initially for his white-ball skills, but who is determined to cement a place in the starting line-up across all three formats.

“At Under-15s he broke all the records pretty much,” said Coad. “He was always a freakishly good talent and that’s why Worcestershire came in early to pick him up, unfortunately for us.

“Back then – for me personally and I think I can speak for Tom, it was a lot more about fun. It was always an ambition of mine to play for the first team, obviously, but I never really saw myself getting to this standard.”

Given his astounding success during 2017, Coad could be forgiven for feeling added pressure going into next year and feeling the need to prove himself all over again.

But he is relaxed about any expectations others may have of him.

“I’m just going to work as hard as I did last season,” he added. “We’ve got all the same things put in place as we did last season, so I’ll just be as confident going into the 2018 season.

LOOKING AHEAD: Tom Kohler-Cadmore, pictured during his time playing for Yorkshire's youth teams.

LOOKING AHEAD: Tom Kohler-Cadmore, pictured during his time playing for Yorkshire's youth teams.

“I think, if anything, what this last season has done is give me more confidence and the belief that I actually can do it for a full season and not just be seen as a little flash in the pan, which is what some people were saying at the start of the season.”

Coad admits the players were far from happy with their return from a generally frustrating campaign and are determined to put it right next time around.

And team-mate Kohler-Cadmore believes that the club already has the right combination of youth and experience to help them be more competitive over the next couple of years.

“Yorkshire are strongest when whoever is performing best is out on the park,” he said.

“That’s why I think the next couple of years are going to be really strong because you’ve got the older, more senior guys who are maybe coming towards the end, alongside youngsters who are pushing them (for places).

“They won’t be happy sitting on the sidelines so they’ll be working just as hard, if not harder than the youngsters who are trying to take their spot in the starting line-up.

“That’s only going to make our squad stronger and ensure we have the depth we need for all three formats.”

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Ben coad, pictured as a youngster coming through the Yorkshire ranks.

Ben coad, pictured as a youngster coming through the Yorkshire ranks.

Tom Kohler-Cadmore hits out against Nottinghamshire in the T20 at Headingley in July. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Tom Kohler-Cadmore hits out against Nottinghamshire in the T20 at Headingley in July. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Yorkshire's Ben Coad celebrates dismissing Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose at headingley in September. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

Yorkshire's Ben Coad celebrates dismissing Warwickshire's Tim Ambrose at headingley in September. Picture: Allan McKenzie/SWpix.com

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STAR TURNS: Tom Kohler-Cadmore and Ben Coad, right, show off Yorkshire's new T20 strip for the 2018 season. Picture: SWPix.com/YCCC

Competition: Win signed Yorkshire 2018 T20 and Championship shirts