STEVE PATTERSON is relishing the challenging of pushing both himself and Yorkshire forward in 2020.

The White Rose captain, recently turned 36, is currently enjoying a well-earned period of rest with his young family, but he says it won’t be long before he is itching to get back to work.

Patterson plans to carry on as skipper next year, at least in red ball cricket, after an enjoyable 18 months in charge.

The Beverley-born seamer is about to head into the final year of his current contract at Emerald Headingley and has also been speaking about his future in the game.

“I have enjoyed it,” he said of the captaincy, guiding Yorkshire to fifth place in this summer’s Specsavers County Championship Division One.

“At times it’s a challenge. When things go well, it’s easy. When it doesn’t go well, it’s how you respond to that. And with a bunch of young lads at times, you have to have patience.

“We’ve had two disappointing weeks at the end, and you can rack your brain thinking, ‘Could I do anything different?’ But sometimes you just have to put your hands up and accept that they were better.

"That happens in sport because we’ve done that to other teams this year.

“For me, it’s about helping the younger players develop all the time so they can be better and more consistent, which will help us push harder for results.”

Patterson was not a regular in white ball cricket this year, but in the Championship he returned 36 wickets with a best of 5-81 and scored 271 runs with one half-century. He also took the 400th wicket of his first-class career.

“By and large, I think I’ve been pretty consistent this year,” he said. “My stats would suggest I’ve performed as well as any time in my career, and I’m pleased with that.

“As a captain, you have to focus on the team and everyone else, but you can’t lose sight of your own job. If you let that slip, it makes it very difficult.

"I will continue to work hard on my own game, as I always do, and try to be as effective as possible.”

Patterson celebrated his 36th birthday at the start of the month. A keen golfer, he will no doubt be devoting a bit of time to improving his handicap. But most of his rest period will be family time.

“I have two young children and don’t get to see them much in the summer, so I will be spending a lot of time with them and my wife,” he said.

“I’ll let the body refresh and then start training again in order to be able to go again next summer.

“When you get to this age, it gets harder and harder to compete with the younger lads.

“From a fitness perspective, you have to work even harder to stay at the same level.”

Last month, Kent’s Darren Stevens starred in a big win against Yorkshire at Headingley and then signed a new one-year deal at Canterbury, meaning he will be playing county cricket into his 45th year.

As for how long Patterson plans to go on for, the 2005 first-class debutant added: “I don’t know is the honest answer.

“First of all, you have to have the desire to continue playing and putting in the hard work. At the moment, I still do. After six weeks off, I’ll be looking forward to next summer.

“We’ll play it by ear.

“I don’t want to keep going for the sake of it. My performances have to warrant playing on. At the moment, I still think they do. I feel I have shown that this year.

“Going forward, if I perform to the same level or better next year, it will justify me continuing to play. If I don’t, my time might be up. But we’ll only know that at the time.”