Glamorgan: New coach backs Steve Watkin and Robert Croft

Toby Radford

New Glamorgan coach Toby Radford says Robert Croft and Steve Watkin have key roles to play under his leadership.

Radford takes over as head coach next month - a job for which Watkin and Croft both applied.

The former England players are currently employed as bowling coaches at the county, and Caerphilly-born Radford does not see that changing.

"I see them playing a major role with the coaching staff as we go forward," he said.

Radford, 41, believes their experience as former Test match bowlers knits well with his specialist knowledge of batting.

Croft took 1,175 first class wickets during his playing carer with Glamorgan, with Watkin pitching in with 902.

Former Middlesex and Sussex batsman Radford joins Glamorgan from the West Indies, where he was assistant coach and batting coach.

"They are mainly bowling specialists but I see them working very tightly with me," he said of Croft and Watkin.

"I'd like to see a very tight unit with a clear definition of roles all working to the same ends.

"I think this winter is when we'll be doing a lot of our work and not just working with our own players but putting plan in place for all the teams we'll come up against in different competitions next year."

Radford also believes Glamorgan should be playing in the first division of the county championship instead of languishing near the bottom of division two.

"For a side that pretty much represents the whole of Wales has a fantastic ground and a big support base you'd like to think that club would be a first division club," he said.

"In one-day cricket [the team were] not too bad, particularly in the 40-over form and got to a one day final at Lord's.

"But in championship cricket bottom-but-one in the second division in the four day game.

"I think there's a lot of good things there and in many ways now it's time to improve the play in the championship and I'd love to see the side make it into the first division."

Improving the form of the county's Welsh-produced players to match that of their key overseas signings will be key to that improvement.

Radford believes the team relied too heavily on Australian pace bowler Michael Hogan, Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin and Australian-born but England qualified all-rounder Jim Allenby.

"They are a big core to the team," said Radford, while conceding one of his challenges was to bring the other players up their standards.

"I'd love to see some of these Welsh lads getting their batting averages up from the mid-20s into the high 30s or early 40s," he added.

"There may be little tweaks we can to technically with some of these guys that can make that difference."

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