Andrew Gale aiming high as Yorkshire County Cricket Club return to Championship’s top tier

Andrew Gale hopes his Yorkshire squad have forged a winning culture at Headingley during the past year.

The White Rose achieved LV= County Championship promotion, reached the final of the Friends Life t20 and mixed it with some of world cricket’s finest at the Champions League t20 in South Africa.

It means they are ideally placed to kick on and challenge for some major silverware during 2013, when the county will be celebrating their 150th anniversary.

“If I saw one positive out of getting relegated in 2011, then I did think that if we could come straight back up we would create a winning mentality within our team of young players – the likes of Joe Root, Azeem Rafiq and Gaz Ballance,” revealed captain Gale.

“I’ve never been involved in winning anything since I was a young player.

“If they can be involved in some success at a young age, then that winning mentality will carry through.

“There was always going to be pressure at the start of the season to come back up, but we came through it with the class that we showed on the pitch.

“We had a fantastic winning mentality, and you’d like to think that our young players are now hungry for more and that we can make that habit of winning part of the club.”

Gale admitted on his social networking Twitter page that beating Trinidad & Tobago to qualify for the group stages of the CLt20 in October was one of the best moments of his career.

And it is no surprise that he ranks achieving County Championship promotion up there as well.

“But initially there was a little disappointment as I wanted to go up as champions because I believe we were the best side in that division,” he continued, having just been pipped by table-toppers Derbyshire.

“Mind you, there was also a sense of relief that we’d got promoted after the disappointments of 2011. Yorkshire is the biggest county in the country. In my eyes we shouldn’t be playing division two cricket.

“To achieve our goal was overwhelming and really pleasing for all of us involved.

“When we were in division one in 2010, we overachieved with the players we had. I think 2013 is different because I think our players are capable of winning the Championship. We are not going up to make the numbers up, we’ll be going up to give winning the Championship a real shot.”

Yorkshire, the only unbeaten Championship side across both divisions in 2012, won five matches, with two of those coming courtesy of nervy and contrived run chases.

And Gale has promised to carry on attacking next year, adding: “That will be the brand of cricket we are taking up with us. If we continue playing in that manner then we’ll have more successful days than we will failures.

“Obviously it will be harder to manufacture results like we did because there is relegation involved, but we will definitely be going for it.”

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