Middlesex Cricket today announced that former player, David Burton, has been appointed to the role of Transition Coach. The newly created role, the first of its kind in professional domestic cricket in England, aims to provide invaluable support, guidance, mentorship, and advice to young players moving through Middlesex's Elite pathway and transitioning into the professional playing ranks.
With over seventy percent of Middlesex's current first team squad comprising players who have come through the Club's County Age Group and Academy system, harnessing and evolving that production line of talent is a key strategic priority for the Club, and the appointment of Burton is seen as an important and significant move in ensuring that this pipeline of young local talent continues to flow.
Another key focus of Burton's appointment is on increasing the representation of players from minority ethnic backgrounds in Middlesex's First Eleven. With over sixty percent of the Club's Academy system containing young Black or British born Asian cricketers, Burton will work closely with these players to support them in their progression through the Academy and into the professional ranks, positively impacting on the Club's desire to field a professional side that is much more diverse and more representative of the communities that Middlesex comprises.
🗞️ | MIDDLESEX CRICKET APPOINTS DAVID BURTON TO THE ROLE OF TRANSITION COACH— Middlesex Cricket (@Middlesex_CCC) March 21, 2022
This new role will focus on assisting young cricketers with transition from academy to professional players and addressing diversity within the professional ranks.
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Burton has experienced first-hand the challenges that present themselves to young cricketers making that transition, having trodden the same pathway himself, and his knowledge and experiences from a professional playing career, when he was in and out of the professional game between 2006 and 2012, firstly at Gloucestershire, then at Middlesex and finally at Northamptonshire, will prove invaluable in helping Middlesex's young cricketers progress into the professional game.
Burton's appointment comes off the back of a large piece of work the Club has undertaken in recent months to address the issues of minority ethnic representation at the top level, having held numerous focus groups with players of minority ethnic backgrounds who have been through and now left the Middlesex system having previously represented the Club at either first eleven, second eleven or Academy level.
The most significant outcome of that investigative project is Burton's appointment, with key learnings suggesting a very strong need for this kind of role.
Alan Coleman, Head of Men's Performance Cricket, commented:
"It was very clear to us that having conducted the research into this area, that we needed to make a change. David stood out as the obvious candidate for this role, and we are hugely excited to have him on board as an important part of our coaching team.
"He has lived through many of the challenges that our young cricketers are facing as they look to make that transition and he has experienced himself how mentally challenging it can be as a young cricketer making their way in the game.
"Maintaining the level of talent coming through from our Academy is a key priority for us and I am confident, with David supporting all our young cricketers throughout the process of becoming professional cricketers, that this critically important area will be positively impacted upon.
"I'd like to personally welcome him back to the Club and all of the coaching team can't wait to start working with him."
On securing his new role at Middlesex, Burton himself commented:
"It's been really positive that Middlesex Cricket has become aware of the challenges that have surrounded English Cricket for a number of years, that they have recognised that learnings need to lead to change, and that they are making positive steps towards finding a better solution moving forward. I am confident that this will see more paths opening up for youngsters to come into the game and hopefully will be an influence for many more Clubs to follow suit.
"I am delighted to be back involved at the Club as a Coach. I am familiar with the County, the challenges the Club faces, and I fully understand the mission we are all trying to achieve together.
"I am excited to be working with the best youngsters and coaches that represent the Club at this level. The role will allow me to combine all my experiences and knowledge to prepare the Club's cricketers through the transition phase and ensure that they are better prepared and more aware of their next steps into the First-Class arena."