ASHLEY Giles has described as a “huge honour” the addition of his name alongside Bob Woolmer and John Inverarity to the list of men who have coached Warwickshire to the County Championship.
But as Giles reflected on the Bears clinching the title for only the seventh time, he was quick to pay tribute to his behind-the-scenes colleagues at Edgbaston.
To fellow coaches Graeme Welch and Dougie Brown, fitness advisors Chris Armstrong and physio Gerhard Mostert, and performance analyst Stuart Key – along with operations manager Keith Cook, without whose knowledge and experience the day-to-day running of the club’s playing side would probably conk out in about ten seconds.
Warwickshire’s players take great credit for bringing the title to Edgbaston.
But as Rikki Clarke observed within minutes of the trophy presentation in Worcester last Thursday, those players are given the best opportunity to shine on the field by all the expertise and hours put in by the chaps off it.
Most people involved in this season’s triumph – and therefore the triumph itself – were forged by the philosophy of the late Neal Abberley whereby excellence is pursued and dedication demanded at all times.
Safe to say ‘Abbers’, whose life was celebrated at a Memorial Match at Knowle & Dorridge on Sunday, would have been proud as punch of the Bears’ success this year – not least of the collective commitment that has underpinned it.
“As a coach you are constantly moving pieces around and trying to get the right formula,” Giles said.
“But ultimately it’s about having good people around you and that’s what I have – good people in the team and a back-room staff that works very hard. It sounds pretty simple but it’s crucial.
“I have a great team all-round with Pop and Dougie, Chris and Moz on the fitness side, and Stu the analyst who has been very important as well. I am very lucky to have guys like that.
“The true test of a team over a whole season is to win Division One of the Championship and when you see the guys that have won it with the Bears like Woolly and Invers it is a huge honour to be on that list.”