First Team Coach Mark Robinson has his feet firmly under the table as he embarks on a new stage of his career at Edgbaston.
With the ink barely dry on the page, Robinson has thrust himself straight into leading sessions, working with individual players and hosting a variety of meetings alongside Director of Cricket, Paul Farbrace.
Robinson has been in the role for just under two weeks, but he is already using his impressive experience as an ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and County Championship-winning coach and extensive research to get a head-start ahead of the new campaign.
“I’m hugely excited,” said the 55-year-old. “It’s now about taking your time and not trying to rush your thoughts and processes.
“I’ve got to build relationships by listening and talking to people and trying to find out what’s worked and what might need tinkering. We’ve got to get players ready to play, February goes quite quickly and then the season is almost amongst you. We’ve got to go at the right pace.
“The majority of the group are young and talented – without any offence to Tim Bresnan – and that’s always exciting. They possibly need a little bit of direction, a bit of experience and maybe give them some confidence on the way. There’s an abundance of talent within the group and that makes the job attractive.”
One of those relationships that Robinson is looking to build quickly is with Will Rhodes. A successful bond between First Team Coach leads to a streamlined thought process on and off the field.
Despite never crossing paths, Robinson, like Rhodes, is from Hull and tries to support his local side as much as possible. That was certainly an easy icebreaker after meeting up on the first day.
“He’s an impressive character,” added the former Sussex, Yorkshire and Northants seamer who took 584 first-class wickets.
“I can’t say that I know him that well, but he’s an impressive character who initially came across very calm and with a little bit of presence about him.
“He speaks well and he’s a great age which is where we are as a team and club. We’ve got a young group of players and a young captain who will hopefully set standards for the future.
“There are some great characters at the club and it’s about putting those building blocks in place to not just win today but win continuously.
And that’s where the pressure starts.
Robinson’s glittering CV, which includes seven trophies, includes two championship titles, in nine years with Sussex and World Cup glory with England’s Women’s team.
During that time in charge, Mark brought enormous strides for the national set up all-round as the players turned fully professional and lost just one series in three and a half years.
In Mark’s first season as Sussex head coach, in 2006, they won the championship and the C&G Trophy and would have emulated the Bears’ 1994 treble if they had won their last Pro40 game.
It’s fair to say that winning is part of his DNA.
“It was a bugbear for us at Sussex I know that,” Robinson smirked when talking about his previous Edgbaston experiences.
“Even in our glory days we found it a very hard place to come and that’s something that you want. You want the team to have the reputation of being resilient, hard to put down and have that little bit of flair about them as well.
“But ultimately you don’t aim to come second. You want to win. You can’t ever sit in front of the Members or players and talk about progression.
“Of course, It’s going to be a part of that, but you want to win every trophy that’s in front of you.
“At the moment we’ve got three trophies to go for and your aim has to be to try and win them. You change your plans as you go along, you adjust to where you are in leagues and competitions and focuses, but you have to attack all three with enthusiasm.
“Teams and clubs can go through different phases and hopefully we’re at the beginning of a really exciting one for the future.”
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