Surrey fast bowler Matt Dunn has turned the trauma of relegation to County Championship Division Two into a force for good.
The 21-year-old, who turned out for Banstead CC last season taking 19 wickets in eight games at an average of 22.42, burst on to the county scene in May 2011.
As a fresh-face 19-year-old, Dunn played pivotal role in a win at Derbyshire taking 5-56 in the second innings, including the scalp of New Zealand international Martin Guptill.
However, since those heady days when Surrey won promotion back to Division One, injury would restrict Dunn to two first team appearances, culminating in relegation back to Division Two.
But now, with a new coach in Graham Ford, Dunn is looking to a brighter future.
He said: “Graham has an emphasis on youth, so it is great for the likes of me, Rory Burns [Banstead CC] and Dom Sibley [Ashtead].
“As a group we are a smaller squad this year and it is actually very nice. I have grown up playing cricket with a lot of the guys.
“It was obviously really disappointing to get relegated because it is not where a club like Surrey belong.
“But for the young guys it is a chance to step up and hopefully this year we win promotion.
“It is a good atmosphere – Fordy has come in and been an amazing addition.
“The great thing with him is that he is a fresh face. He has been amazing on a one-to-one basis with people.”
Now the aim is to stay fit – and if he can do that, Dunn believes the Oval has all the ingredients to encourage overdue progression.
“I only came into the game [against Derbyshire] because Jade Dernbach was picked by England,” Dunn said.
“The frustrating thing is that after that I went down with injury and it has just been a common theme since then.”
He added: “But there is great competition here.
“We have got a great crop of youngsters and a good group of older players, such as Chris Tremlett.
“He has got the experience. He is an Ashes winner and he has got so much knowledge.”