Sadler admits he has 'massive boots to fill' as he replaces Ripley

John Sadler admits he has got 'massive boots to fill' after it was confirmed he will replace the outgoing David Ripley as head coach of Northants.

By Jeremy Casey
Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:05 pm
Updated Monday, 20th September 2021, 12:06 pm
John Sadler is the new Northants head coach
John Sadler is the new Northants head coach

The 39-year-old will take over the reins from two-time T20 Blast winner Ripley, who this week takes charge of his final first team game when Northants wrap up their LV= Insurance County Championship campaign at Essex.

That will bring an end to the 54-year-old's 10 years in charge of the first team, a spell that also saw the team claim two promotions to the top flight of the Championship.

Ripley is the club's most successful coach having claimed those two major honours, and Sadler, who is promoted from the assistant coach role he has held since January, 2020, knows he is going to be a tough act to follow.

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John Sadler (left) and Chris Liddle (centre) have worked under David Ripley (right) for the past two seasons

“Rips is obviously a very, very well respected man and coach who's been around a long time," said Sadler.

"He’s a real stalwart of the club in a lot of positions and the success he’s had, the group of players he’s assembled, he’s left the side in a good place and I’m looking forward to taking it on.

“I’ve got massive boots to fill, but if I’ve got half the longevity and half the success he had then I’ll be delighted.”

Sadler has been a coach for the past nine years, and before joining Northants he had short caretaker spells in charge of both Leicestershire and Derbyshire.

And the Yorkshireman admits he is now excited to get the opportunity to be the man in charge in his own right.

“I’m absolutely delighted to be stepping into the top job,” said Sadler.

“I feel the club is in a really good place and ready to kick on even further.

"We’ve got a very exciting group of cricketers and some great people around so it’s an exciting opportunity to take on.”

Chris Liddle will step up to the role of assistant coach while continuing as the bowling coach.

The pair have worked closely together after joining the club at the same time in the winter of 2019, and Sadler feels the fact they already know the club and players inside out will be a big advantage.

“I’m sure things will be slightly different with a different voice and different ideas," he said.

"But ultimately there’s been some brilliant things going on here so it’s about adding to those and not necessarily changing too much.”

Ripley's final match as head coach starts at Chelmsford on Tuesday morning.

He will then step down before taking up a different coaching role within the club, concentrating on the Emerging Player Programme.