Graeme Welch is excited to be heading back to his “spiritual home” after agreeing to return to Warwickshire as bowling coach.

Welch, a County Championship winner with the Bears as both player (1994 and 1995) and bowling coach (2012) can’t wait to get cracking at Edgbaston where he has “unfinished business.”

The 45-year-old rejoins the Bears from Leicestershire where he has spent a year as assistant coach. His spell with the Foxes followed two years at Derbyshire whom he joined as elite performance director after leaving the Bears in early 2014.

Now he returns to Edgbaston ready to resume his mission to set up a conveyor-belt of bowling talent to benefit the first-team squad in short and long terms.

Edgbaston is my spiritual home and a fantastic set-up and I can’t wait to get stuck in

Graeme Welch

“I am really excited to be coming back,” Welch said. “Edgbaston is my spiritual home and a fantastic set-up and I can’t wait to get stuck in again and working with Ashley Giles and Jim Troughton.

“I do feel I have unfinished business with the Bears. Last time I was there the bowling unit helped us win the championship but I was just starting to look at putting a structure in place through the age-groups when I left. Now I can get on with that.

“It has been really interesting in the last three and a half years working at two smaller clubs and I have learned a lot. However long you have been in the game you are always learning and now I want to put a system in place at the Bears to keep bowlers coming through capable of playing not only for Warwickshire but for England.”

Welch’s brief is twofold: Maximise the young talent coming through the age-groups and get the senior bowlers firing in the first team.

“I know a lot of the guys very well,” he said. “I’ll be looking to the likes of Keith Barker, Boyd Rankin, Chris Wright and Olly Hannon-Dalby to lead the way as senior players should. I’ve always liked the look of Olly Stone, who is seriously quick, and Ryan Sidebottom is a really good, solid seam-bowler.

“With young seamers like George Panayi and Henry Brookes coming through and Jeetan Patel, Josh Poysden and Sunny Singh in the spin department, we have a really strong array of bowlers in all formats. I’m looking forward to getting to work with them and also with the younger guys coming through beneath them.”

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