Nixon: "I want to make a difference"

Paul Nixon said that he did not need to think twice about applying for - and accepting - the role of Leicestershire CCC Head Coach.

The 46-year-old has always held the club close to his heart having represented the Foxes across four decades in a highly successful playing career that saw him be a key part of five trophy winning teams.

And after having a big influence on the club as a player, Nixon is now relishing the opportunity to do the same as a coach.

“I knew that I had to go for this role,” smiled Nixon. “It's amazing to be back, I'm really excited about the role and the challenge to take the club forward. 

“It's something that I've thought about over the last years after retiring from playing. I wanted to be able to make a difference again here and the timing has worked out perfectly.

“I spoke to Wasim [Khan MBE, Chief Executive], he was honest and straight, and it was great to hear how well the club was doing off the field. 

“There is a vision here and I can see the club transforming into a fantastic business both on and off the field. It all made me realise that if the cricket is right, then the rest of it will fly even more. 

“I was having dinner with the family on the Sunday when I took the phone call and I was absolutely delighted. It was a very proud moment for me.”

Nixon’s success as a player has already been transferred into coaching, winning the Caribbean Premier League with Jamaica Tallawahs in two of his three years in charge.

The former batsman and wicket-keeper feels that was a crucial experience to go through his work in gaining formal qualifications with the ECB.

He said: "I've built up some good experience. I coached away from Leicestershire with Jamaica Tallawahs in the Caribbean Premier League, I've worked with my Foundation and also with [Former Leicestershire CCC Head Coach] Tim Boon and the age group squads at Loughborough University. 

“Learning how a coach operates on a daily basis - even an hourly basis - has done me the world of good, and doing my level three qualification with the ECB and upskilling myself has been very important too.

“I needed that grounding in coaching a team with Jamaica because I had been on the peripheral rather than being in the hot seat. 

“I learnt a lot of things. First and foremost as a coach it's about facilitating the players’ needs. It's not about you as a coach, it's about making sure you build your relationships and work together to gain trust. 

“The relationships deepen and it's about finding out where players are coming from and what motivates them. We’ll find a common ground and then go on a nice pre-season.”

Nixon has already thrown himself into the role and met a lot of people associated with cricket at Leicestershire, including children and parents from the club’s Pathways Programme.

“My main work so far has been with the Academy Director Andy Siddall and making sure that we are getting things in place,” said Nixon. 

“I met some parents and children from our pathway programme, Andy [Siddall] produced a fantastic presentation, and there is an exciting future ahead for the next generation.   

“October has been a month where people have a well-earned break at the end of a busy season but I will sit down with Wasim and the management team soon and talk through plans. 

“There is a lot to discuss; from overseas pros, to how we are going to approach four-day cricket, the pitches we want to play on, T20 plans, 50-over cricket, the personnel we have, and so on. There are lots of different facets and that's why I felt it was important to get in as early as I can to get the ball rolling.

“For me, it's about getting a good rounded view of where we are as a club. That will come from the players, the management, the office staff – everybody here. 

“We are a small, family club and you never know where you will get a bit of gold dust from. I have my views of where I want to take the club but I must get a rounded view from everybody before I start taking any steps.”

* In the second part of his interview, Nixon discusses the support he has already received and the feeling of returning to the club.