By Matthew Fisher
I am hoping that with the performances I have put in during the three games I played in the Championship this season, I have put myself in a good position to push for a starting place at the beginning of next year.
Of course I would have liked more games in the first team, but I can still look back positively at this season.
One big positive I take out of it is that I’ve got through a season without any bowling injuries. My two thumbs and my shoulder were done batting or fielding.
I feel like I’ve bowled quite a lot of overs, and my body has stood up.
You can see people struggle with back stress fractures for two or three years, or they can even end careers. Touch wood, that won’t happen again.
That settles me down a bit.
The Championship is the format I really love playing and want to progress in, and I feel like four games would have been a decent block of games. But it’s now three because of the rain last week against Warwickshire at Edgbaston.
I have to be patient. If I get a run of games and perform like I know I can, hopefully there will be other things on the horizon.
There is the possibility of a Lions call to tour Australia, which would be a nice build-up to the summer and you would learn so much being part of that squad.
But I feel as though I would be picked on potential rather than results because I haven’t played enough. We will have to see.
Otherwise, I plan to stay at home until Christmas and train indoors.
I will be discussing it with Andrew Gale and Martyn Moxon this week about maybe going away before the start of the season.
I felt like I kept having niggles at the start of this year in the second team because I was getting used to bowling again.
I didn’t go on pre-season tour to Potchefstroom, so I was trying to build my overs up in games, which is different to be doing it in practice.
Mentally, I was feeling aches and pains, which is natural, but it wasn’t allowing me to concentrate purely on batting and bowling, which you need to do in games to perform at your best.
It was nice to hear the comments from Galey after the Kent game about my attitude, which is something I have prided myself on ever since starting out at Sheriff Hutton Bridge.
It’s been trained into me that there’s a non negotiable every day you turn up to train or play.
It means so much to me playing given my injury history, and I really want to stay in the team. That’s why I show that fight and heart in games because you don’t want someone to pinch your spot.
Talking of my club, the Saturday before we went down to Edgbaston at the start of last week was a great day as Bridge beat Woodlands from Bradford to win the Yorkshire Leagues final at Headingley.
It was a good call for me not to play because I was tired and knew there was a big game coming up at Edgbaston. But, in hindsight, I could have played because I feel like I haven’t bowled for ages now! We didn’t know what was going to happen with the rain, though.
I have spoken a lot about how special a club it is, with everyone mucking in.
They deserve this so much.
To be champions of Yorkshire, it’s not something everybody can say.
But we won’t be settling for just this.
My brother, Adam, who has been captain for the last seven or eight years, is already working hard to try and sustain this success.
I also think we are getting closer and closer to achieving success at Yorkshire.
As a team, in white ball cricket, we obviously didn’t perform as well as we wanted to.
It was disappointing not to get to the quarter-finals of the one-day comp or the T20, which is always what we strive for as a benchmark.
I wasn’t around that much due to injury, but the lads said that we lost crucial parts of games and weren’t great under the pressure.
In the T20, we were a bit unlucky with myself and Josh Poysden going down at the start of the competition. I’m not saying we would have made a difference, but when you’re in the starting eleven for the first game, you obviously think you’re in the best team.
Poysie, especially. He’d bowled beautifully in the one-day Cup. He would have been good in the middle overs to tie things down.
Then, not having Adil Rashid was tough as well.
Our spin options were limited, but Jack Shutt came into his own in his first few games.
We never really had a settled side, and in that format you have to find a method with everyone knowing their roles.
It was quite tough because we were chopping and changing through not performing or injury.
At the start of the comp, we had a squad of 14-15 players who we felt could take us a long way. But it was depleted.
We have to make sure that if we do have injuries, we’re still strong enough to compete.
We had a good charge at the last hurdle, but it was too late.
Up until playing Somerset at Taunton at the start of the month we were still in the Championship title race and had only had one game where we were really poor – Essex at Chelmsford.
We had two games rained off at Headingley in Hampshire and Essex. They were important. One game we looked like we were going to win and the other was looking like a draw but we could have won.
If they had gone differently, we could have even been above Essex and Somerset going to Taunton with three rounds to go.
The overall picture, up until Taunton and Headingley against Kent, we played some really good Championship cricket. We were consistent.
That consistency has got better each year through this transition period people talk about.
Hopefully next year we can compete and try to win it rather than be third, fourth or fifth.
We’ve shown we have the team to win games now, but I think more pressure comes on next year because lads have had more exposure.
Tom Kohler-Cadmore has played 60 first-class games, Harry Brook is mid twenties, I’m getting towards 15 and Ben Coad has another year behind him.
Then there is the experience of Gary Ballance, Adam Lyth and Steve Patterson.
It’s just about making sure we put the hard yards in through the winter.
I would just like to finish by thanking everyone for their support this year. We really do appreciate it. Have a good winter and we’ll see you in 2020.