Richard Dawson is the current Head Coach of © Getty Images
Richard Dawson is the current Head Coach of  Gloucestershire © Getty Images

Former England off-spinner and Gloucestershire player Richard Dawson believes the final against Surrey in the Royal One-Day Cup at Lord’s is a once-in-a career opportunity for the players.  “It’s a once-in-a-career opportunity,” declared Dawson. “There are some very good players who never get the chance to play in a Lord’s final with their county. We might have a lot of fairly young lads in our team, but you cannot guarantee that they will have another opportunity like this in their careers. Lord’s finals do not come along very often.” READ: Geraint Jones to lead Gloucestershire in his final competitive match at Lord’s

“Because of that, they have to relish the opportunity and I think they will. I want the boys to come back off the field at the end of the game knowing that they gave everything and have no regrets. I look at our boys and I see a young, vibrant group, who are champing at the bit. You have to take these big opportunities when they arise,” he added. READ: Former umpire and Gloucestershire wicketkeeper Barry Meyer dies

Dawson believes that the fact that they have taken down many teams in the contest will give them the confidence and the momentum going into the final. Dawson said, “We’ve taken down some big teams this season, sides like Durham, Somerset, Hampshire and Yorkshire. But it was those tight games against Leicestershire and Derbyshire that made the difference. Those are two decent teams in their own right and we managed to beat them in high-pressure situations. Those at-the-death wins gave the boys so much belief and helped change the way they perceived themselves. WATCH: Azhar Mahmood’s last-ball six against Gloucestershire

“After those games, they realised they could win games from just about every situation you could care to come up with. We’ve proved we are not a one-man team and everyone has contributed at one time or another. One thing is for sure, we will need 11 men to come to the party on the day if we are to give ourselves a chance. We’ve played as a team throughout the campaign and learned to scrap for one another. I think that really came through in the semi-final against Yorkshire,” he added.