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Let's go one better - Brooks

By Callum Dent

Yorkshire can use the disappointment of last season as extra motivation to claim their first LV= County Championship title for 13 years, according to Jack Brooks.

The White Rose went close to emulating the 2001 championship-winning campaign last term, losing out in Division One to Durham by 24.5 points.

But having added overseas stars Kane Williamson and Aaron Finch to an already-strong squad, former Northamptonshire paceman Brooks believes Yorkshire have the ability to go one step further in 2014.

Brooks told “I think when you come so close, you try and work that little bit harder.

“We have got to be better than last year to win it, and we were good last year. But we have got to be better.

“If we had won it last year, would the motivation still be there? I would like to think it would be, but it hurts not to win and you use it to try and drive you forward.

“I want us to win a trophy. One, two or three; I don't care how many trophies.

“If we can win one trophy, it will be a great start. I've said to everyone I have come to Yorkshire to win trophies and be a part of a successful squad.

“We challenged and almost won the championship last year and hopefully we can go one better this year.”

Skipper Andrew Gale, fit again following a hip problem, has a plethora of bowling options at his disposal ahead of the White Rose’s first game of the season.

Brooks, Ryan Sidebottom, Liam Plunkett, Moin Ashraf and Steven Patterson are all available for the clash with Somerset from Sunday.

With Tim Bresnan also set to return to the fray over the coming weeks, Brooks knows competition for places will be fierce.

Jack Brooks is aiming to mark his second year at Yorkshire by helping the county win Division One of the LV= County Championship

The 29-year-old said: “Yes, it (competition) keeps you on your toes. We have got a great battery of fast bowlers.

“The good thing is if you are resting or out injured, there is another guy who can step up who is hungry.

“Having spoken to the other guys, we all enjoy competition and all want a better, stronger squad because there is less pressure on yourself to carry it through.

“We all enjoy each other's company and it lifts the standards in training.”

Following his move to Yorkshire from Northants in September 2012, the ex-England Lion’s debut campaign at Headingley was hampered by a broken thumb that sidelined him for six weeks.

Despite that setback, Brooks still managed to mark his first taste of top-flight four-day cricket with 34 wickets in 11 matches.

Asked if he feels more pressure to perform heading into his second campaign at the county, Brooks replied: “I think I feel the same pressure all the time.

“I put a lot of expectation on myself, more than anybody else. I am harder on myself and expect high standards.

“I don't really feel so much pressure from the players, coaches or supporters. I want to try and justify my place, especially coming to a club like here, but I like to think I did that after my performances last year.

“I know if I am bowling properly and I am at the top of my game, then I back my ability.”

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