George Garton hopes the ‘wonderful’ signing of Jason Gillespie will push the team on to success.
The left-arm quick bowler from Brighton has welcomed the arrival of the former Australian international, who has returned to county cricket after a successful stint as first-team coach of Yorkshire.
Gillespie’s record as an international pace bowler has got Garton believing he and the other bowlers in the County Grounds ranks will all learn a lot – and fast.
Gillespie won promotion from division two of the county championship in his first season, while in the second they were runners-up in the first division – going on to win the title in 2014 and 2015. He returned to Australia after Yorkshire narrowly missed out on a third successive title in 2016.
‘Dizzy’ joined Sussex last November and is now at Hove putting his squad through their pre-season paces, and Garton is happy with the new addition to the staff.
Gillespie took 259 wickets in 71 Tests at an average of 26.13, making him Australia’s sixth-highest wicket-taker
Garton, a 20-year-old England hopeful who has played for Horsham and Three Bridges in the Sussex League, said: “It’s a wonderful signing for the club and a very exciting signing for me too. He has a lot of experience in international cricket and hopefully we can feed off it and he can help our young bowlers coming through.
“We have a lot of young bowlers coming through and hopefully he can push us on and we can learn a lot from him.
“We have a really exciting young squad with some very experienced players too, so hopefully a man with his calibre can push the inexperienced guys through and really gel the team together for us to win trophies.”
The signing of Gillespie has brought much media attention but Garton says this won’t faze the squad.
“I think the players are used to the media and we focus on what we can do – and a signing like that can only benefit us and the lads are happy for the media attention to be on him, as it should be.”
Gartongained vital experience over the winter when he was a surprise addition to the England party who went to Australia for the Ashes series. He was cover for Jake Ball and played for England Lions, including a game against a Queensland XI in Brisbane when he was harsh about his own efforts.
He said: “It was a great experience. Brisbane was interesting – I actually thought I struggled a bit. I think maybe I focused too much on technique so I had to strip it back and work on just running in taking wickets rather than technique.
“It helped moving on to the white-ball where I performed really well and stuck to my strengths which I was really happy about.
“Being blunt it was probably the worst I have ever bowled in Brisbane, so it was a bit disappointing but it gave me the chance to strip everything back and go back to basics and work on my strengths.
“It was a definite learning curve and something that will put me in good stead for the upcoming season ahead.”
Garton said his immediate aim was to stay fit and healthy and continue to put in match-winning performances for Sussex.