Mark Davis: Sussex players have 'a new slate' in 2016

Wright to bring new ideas to Sussex

Sussex head coach Mark Davis says the playing squad have "a new slate" following relegation from Division One of the County Championship last season.

Davis took charge this winter after Mark Robinson's departure, with Luke Wright appointed captain.

"It is a good opportunity for young players to put their hands up," Davis told BBC Sussex.

"We are at a stage now where we want to develop a new team moving forward and there are a lot of places to play for."

Robinson left Hove to become head coach of England women in November after seeing Sussex's five-year stay in the top flight end.

Davis, who has been on the club's coaching staff since 2005, is keen to give opportunities to young players.

"If you do play in the second team, score the runs and get the wickets to force your way into the first team," said the 42-year-old.

"You put your performances forward and show us what you can do and hopefully everyone will get an opportunity this year.

"I have a vision for the club. I want us to be in a position where we can compete for the first division [title], not just stay up."

Wright looks to raise standards

All-rounder Wright has taken on the captaincy from Ireland international Ed Joyce, who spent three and a half years in the role.

"In one way I'm taking on the squad at their most vulnerable - when we have just gone down with a lot of young guys who have not had the results they wanted to personally," said Wright.

"With a fresh coach in Mark, we had similar ideas of where we wanted to make a move.

"It is the first year in a three-year plan we have got.

"We want results straight away but with the things we are trying to put in place, we know it will make us a better squad going forward - to be more ready for the first division and white-ball cricket as well.

"With the financial restraints we have in place, we need to blood guys coming through and get the standards up."

The loss of Matt Hobden

Matt Hobden
Matt Hobden took 35 wickets at an average of 41.60 in 14 first-class appearances for Sussex

Sussex go into the new campaign without bowler Matt Hobden, who died aged 22 in January.

Wright, who has made over 100 appearances for England in Twenty20 and one-day cricket, hopes the squad can use the seamer's death as a unifying force.

"It is horrendous and something I went through with Tom Maynard as well," said the 31-year-old.

"It is not something that just goes away. Even reporting back for day one of pre-season you miss him. He is not there.

"His locker is still there and it is something that will be with us for the rest of our lives.

"It is something we need to manage for the guys. It is tough. We have got some things we are going to dedicate to him this year.

"There are still going to be days when you have your ups and downs but it is something which can bring us all together."

Sussex begin the County Championship Division Two campaign at Northamptonshire on Sunday.