NEW Worcestershire head bowling coach Alan Richardson is relishing the opportunity to work again with Ed Barnard.

Richardson said he would not be surprised if the County ace kicked on in his career in the same way as England's and Warwickshire's Chris Woakes.

The former County bowler recognised Barnard’s potential when coaching at Shrewsbury School in the winter as he prepared to retire from playing at Blackfinch New Road.

And he saw how national regular Woakes made great strides forward while the 42-year-old was bowling coach at Warwickshire.

Richardson, who took 250-plus wickets in four years at Worcestershire, has been impressed with the progress made by Barnard, 22, and believes there is “potential for him to do more”.

He said: "I worked with Ed when I was at Shrewsbury School.

"I was a late starter into cricket so I experienced a working life before cricket and was a landscape gardener and it probably wasn’t everything I thought it would be.

“So when I left cricket I wanted to make sure I went into something I loved. I tried lots of different things and coaching was one of the things that excited me.

“When I was playing my last two years at Worcestershire I was a sports coach at Shrewsbury School and helped out in the winter.

“That coincided with Ed being there. I wouldn’t say I take any credit in Ed’s rise but it was nice to build up a bit of a relationship and watch how he worked.

“I went on tour with him to Cape Town with the school and you just knew from there he was someone who was going to be a really good first-class cricketer.” 

Richardson continued: “There is potential for him to do more as well so it’s really exciting to be back with him. 

“In some respects, the way Ed works reminds me a lot of Chris with the temperament and skills he shows.

“You have seen with Woaksey that he has been able to kick on and it wouldn’t surprise me that Ed might have those opportunities.

“I watch how he works and I liken cricket to problem-solving.

“Every day different  questions are asked of you and a lot of the successful guys solve those problems quickly and work them out — and Ed is one of those.

“I think physically there is more potential in him and he has really bought into trying to get more pace.

“Matt (Mason, former bowling coach) certainly started that ball rolling and hopefully I will be able to help him do that.”