Assistant First Team Coach Phil Rowe will retire at the end of the season after 15 years as a coach at the club.

“I feel it’s the right time for me, I’m ready to take the step of starting the next chapter. It’s been a great time all the way through and I’m going out on my own terms.” Rowe said.

“It’s actually been out there around the group for a while. I announced my decision to the lads and the club after the Durham game two or three months ago just to get that done really, I wanted to give the club time to get things in place ready to kick off again in January.

“I’ve got sort of mixed feelings, I do go through the odd wave of doubt if I’ve done the right thing but I’m looking forward to what’s next. My heart will still be here and I’ll still be here quite a bit as well I think.”

Rowe has been closely involved in the development of a number of current first team players, working with many of them through their junior years.

“I’ve been there when he’s progressed through his journey as a coach, I was with him in the age groups, I was captain of the second team when he was appointed second team coach and yeah we’ve had a lot of success together” said Rob Keogh.

“When I first moved up from Beds I was probably 12 or 13 coming into the EPP and he was around then. I was a wicketkeeper and he changed me into and off spinner and that’s worked nicely so far, touch wood.”

“We’ve done a lot together, he’s a good friend of mine and I’m sure we’ll stay in touch. I hope he improves his golf a bit with his time off and I just wish him all the best.” Keogh said.

Keogh wasn’t the only player full of praise for Rowe, Ben Sanderson offering him a lot of credit for his blossoming Northamptonshire career.

“He’s probably one of the main reasons I’m here in the first place. I owe him a lot in terms of getting me to the club and trialling, he was the one who invited me in for a net so I owe him a lot of thanks really for that, I probably wouldn’t have been here without him pushing.” said Sanderson.

“He’s a legend, a proper bloke, he’d always do anything for you. He’s always ready for a beer if you need a beer and a chat, he’s just a top bloke all round. I hope he still pops in every now and then which I’m sure he will, I’m sure he won’t’ be able to stay away all season.”

Nathan Buck felt Rowe was valuable for different reasons.

“He’s the only guy who gets my jokes, so I’m going to have to rethink my whole humour structure.” Buck said.

“Cricket wise though he’s been very good, he’s got a very good brain and he’s a very knowledgeable man with a lot of good ideas. He keeps things really simple which for me works, but his humour, I’ll miss that the most.”

Rowe is probably best known for his work with the bowling group, but Alex Wakely credits him with much more.

“Rowey for me was more than just a coach, he was like a mentor. He was the one you could go to with any problems away from cricket, whether it be psychological or any issues you had and he would always put things in perspective.” Wakely said.

“I found throughout my captaincy he was the one I’d go to whenever there was an issue, whenever I needed someone to talk to he was always there. I’m lucky to call him a friend as much as anything and the club will miss him I think. Every single person won’t realise how much he did until he goes, that’s the sign of someone who’s a natural born leader like he was, we’re going to miss him.”

David Ripley was full of thanks for his right-hand man.

“Phil took a leap of faith to join Northants as a development coach, leaving a well-paid job behind. It’s been a pleasure to share his journey from his Kwik Cricket school visits to being a universally respected T20 winning coach. I’d like to thank Phil personally for the support he has given me in our time together, the team will miss his expertise, voice of reason and brilliant humour.” Ripley said.

Rowe’s main focus away from cricket will be a new career in counselling as he begins work on becoming a qualified counsellor in the new year. While the end of this year will see the end of Rowe’s full time involvement with the club, he’ll still be involved with the club.

“I’m still going to be doing some part time work and projects for the club including some coaching on our elite programmes, coach development and education in the pathway and mentoring some of our professional pathway coaches.

“I’ll be supporting our partnership strategy with surrounding minor counties and supporting our emerging overseas partnerships. Some of the lads have already asked me to do some stuff with them individually as well, it’s a bit of a portfolio of things really including doing a bit of nothing.”

“There’s heaps of great memories but I think it’s difficult to look past the T20 wins. The first one in particular was the first trophy the club had won in 20+ years, we were the very unfancied underdogs and so on, so that was wonderful.

“But genuinely it’s been a joy and an absolute pleasure and I’ve loved it. The lads have been great and have given me opportunities I could only ever really have dreamed of. It’s been fantastic and to look back and have been part of the most successful period the club has had in terms of trophies won has just been great.”