NBCC Senior Pro Bob Instone

The role of Senior Pro (or more accurately Player) is one that I do not come across very often these days. Well again to be totally accurate I play most of my cricket with Senior Players! Back in the day the Senior Pro was not an appointed role as such, it was more one that was inherited (certainly in club cricket, it had more of an official status in professional changing rooms) and it was in many ways a mentoring role before mentoring became a “thing”.

As a youngster playing senior cricket I found it a great help having a senior pro: someone that would point out fielding positions without me having to ask the Captain and Vice Captain, who would keep an eye on me and stop me drifting or heaven help me putting my hands in my pockets! Off the field as well they would give advice on cleaning my bat, what pub to go to – all the important things in life!

As a rule they could be depended on to contribute with bat and bowl and hold their own in the field. A steady/experienced “go to” player that wasn’t necessarily used every game but rarely let you down when needed.

In many ways this is the role I envisaged when clubs introduced Development Teams a few years ago but so far I have not really seen it. My views on Development Cricket are well documented but in summary: us oldies seem to be wanted more to make up the numbers than to participate or actually help develop the players.

I have known Bob Instone for a while now through Staffordshire Seniors and we train together and help each others games with some coaching from time to time.

When I started to think about a Senior Pro role for the Club I looked no further than Bob. He intends to play the majority of our games, is always willing to help with some coaching and has all the characteristics and attributes of the Senior Pros I grew up learning so much from.