Collingwood: We can rise to challenge

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PAUL Collingwood is excited by the challenge facing Durham this season, writes GARY FOSTER.

Financial restraints mean that Durham have been unable to bring in any fresh new faces this summer, so the county will again look to give youth its chance.

While the starting XI will feature experienced veterans such as skipper Collingwood and Dale Benkenstein, the young guns will have to step up to the plate.

That may not be the ideal scenario, but Collingwood is happy to play the cards dealt him.

“It’s been frustrating that we haven’t been able to bring anyone in, but it’ll just give opportunities to the younger players and that’s important,” said the former England all-rounder (pictured).

“It would have been lovely to have gone out there and got whoever we wanted, and bring them into a position in the batting line-up where they could guarantee runs, but we haven’t been able to do that.

“To me though, it’s almost as exciting to give the opportunities to the younger guys, as we did halfway through last season.

“That builds those younger players up as characters and cricketers.

“They find out about their game and techniques, and that strengthens the team itself for the future.”

The club is in something of a transitional period as it looks to build for the future, and Collingwood believes it is important to look at the long term.

He added: “You don’t want to make decisions thinking about what’s good for one year – you want to be doing things that are good for the club in five or 10 years time, and we’re doing that.

“Some people might see it as a big negative that we haven’t been able to bring anyone in, but we’re not bringing them in, so we have to move forward, and look forward to the chances these lads will have over the rest of the season and the next few years.”