RICHARD DAWSON is back at Yorkshire and looking forward to maintaining the standards set by his predecessor as the club’s second-team coach, Paul Farbrace.

The former England off-spinner, pictured, began work in his new role yesterday, 24 hours before the county’s opening match of the new season against Leeds/Bradford MCC Universities at Headingley today.

While Dawson will primarily be responsible for looking after the White Rose second team, he will also be working closely with the first-team players in a bid to improve their one-day and Twenty20 performances.

His previous coaching role at Gloucestershire involved specialist work as their spin bowling and one-day cricket coach.

“It’s a good opportunity and good challenge, so I’m looking forward to it now,” said Dawson.

“I’ve done a few things since I left the club, including playing, coaching, teaching and journalism, but I’m happy to be back. Things have changed since I played here. I want to do my best for the county again, like I did as a player, and try to improve the players.

The amount of cricketers they get through the system here is absolutely incredible. There’s a lot of very talented people to work with.”Yorkshire seconds start their season with a one-day Trophy match against Glamorgan at Cardiff next Tuesday.

“There’s a bit of time before the first game, so that should help me get ahead of things and get used to the environment,” continued Dawson, who is confident of a limited overs improvement at first-team level.

“In 2012 we got to the Finals Day in Twenty20, so there’s definitely ability there. I’m just going to have a look at what’s happening, take the lead from Dizzy (Jason Gillespie) and go from there. I learned a lot of things down at Gloucestershire, and hopefully I can transfer a few of those things back to Yorkshire.”

The 33-year-old, from Doncaster, spent six seasons on the professional staff at Yorkshire between 2001 and 2006.

“It’s good to be back. I played for Yorkshire from being a kid, and it’s a big deal. Paul Farbrace did a very good job here, and it’s my job to keep that going and improve the players he’s brought on.”

Yorkshire have named a 12-man squad for today’s three-day friendly against the students (11am start). They will be captained by Gary Ballance in Andrew Gale’s absence.

York’s Jack Leaning gets an early chance to impress in the middle order, while Jonny Bairstow takes the gloves. Seamer Ben Coad is expected to be 12th man.

Yorkshire 12 v Leeds/Bradford MCCU: Ballance (c), Bairstow (w), Brooks, Coad, Hodgson, Leaning, Lees, Lyth, Patterson, Plunkett, Rashid, Sidebottom.