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Kick was spur for Yorkshire County Cricket Club
Yorkshire have reacted in the best possible way to LV= County Championship relegation in 2011, according to director of professional cricket Martyn Moxon.
The former England opening batsman has admitted that dropping down a division two summers ago has helped the club become stronger as they begin preparations for another division one campaign in 2013.
Changes to the coaching staff have worked. Moxon took a step back from a hands-on coaching role with the first team to allow Jason Gillespie to take his place, while Paul Farbrace took up the job of second XI coach.
Yorkshire subsequently gained promotion from division two last summer alongside some excellent performances in Twenty20 both at home and abroad.
They reached the Friends Life t20 final and qualifying for the Champions League in South Africa.
And while they will not be favourites to win the Championship title next year – the county’s 150th anniversary – they are definitely well enough equipped to mount a challenge.
“I think relegation made us realise that we can’t just turn up and expect to win,” said Moxon.
“We all got a kick up the backside I suppose. The important thing was how we reacted to that, which we did last summer.
“Relegation wasn’t something we planned, but we did bounce back quickly and react positively. Maybe sometimes you have to take one step back to take two forward.
“Hopefully now we can go from strength to strength. I think going into division one, people will be looking out for us. We’re going to have to be at our best.
“We can’t rest on our laurels after last summer because we want sustained success. We want to do it for years to come and not just a season here and there.”
The Yorkshire squad, bolstered by the new signings of fast bowlers Jack Brooks and Liam Plunkett, returned to pre-season training on Monday, 35 days after their last match of 2012 against Chennai Super Kings in Durban.
The emphasis will be on fitness work up until Christmas, led by strength and conditioning coach Tom Summers, before skill-based work will be introduced to their schedule in the New Year as they build to a pre-season tour of Barbados in March.
“It’s all systems go now,” added Moxon. “We’re all looking forward to what should be an exciting season, especially with us being back in division one in our 150th year.
“It’s primarily fitness work up until Christmas. This is the time for the hard slog. We’ll introduce the cricket after Christmas, but I’m afraid it’s four weeks of blood, sweat and tears.”