Marcus Trescothick: Somerset will take all the necessary action to become a real force again
By Western Daily Press | Thursday, October 03, 2013, 05:00
When I pulled a catch straight to mid-wicket off the middle of the bat in my final innings of the summer at Trent Bridge last week it just about summed up the season.
Marcus Trescothick takes a turn behind the stumps after Craig Kieswetter was brought on to bowl in Somerset's game at Nottinghamshire last week PICTURE: STEVE BOND/PINNACLE
The bowler, Brett Hutton, of Nottinghamshire, had never taken a wicket in first-class cricket before. As I made my way back to the pavilion, my overriding emotion was 'Thank God that's over'.
My Somerset team had fallen short of the standards we have come to set ourselves. I had been bothered by more ankle problems and, despite working my socks off to improve, my form had remained indifferent to say the least.
With all that in mind, you might think I would be heading into the winter pretty despondent. In fact, the opposite is true and I remain 100 percent committed to being Somerset captain in all forms of cricket next season.
Of course, that decision is not purely down to me, but I expect to be fitter as a result of more ankle surgery when I get back from holiday and I firmly believe that, with the right additions, we have a squad capable of challenging strongly in all competitions in 2014.
You only have to look at what Durham have achieved this summer to see how quickly fortunes can change in the LV= County Championship Division One.
They were struggling at an advanced stage of the previous season and needed a run of good results to move clear of the relegation zone. Yet this time around they have deservedly won the title.
That is the nature of Division One cricket and now that Somerset have preserved a place in it, albeit after a worrying relegation battle, I see no reason why we cannot learn the lessons of this campaign and emerge a lot stronger.
There will be changes. No club can afford to lose players of Jos Buttler's ability, but I respect his reasons for leaving to join Lancashire where he can expect to keep wicket regularly and wish him nothing but the best. Gemaal Hussain is also moving on and already consultation is taking place over new faces to strengthen our squad.
As always, finance will be a major consideration and I cannot as yet offer our supporters any indication of how many signings will be made.
One will clearly be an overseas player and I will be talking to director of cricket Dave Nosworthy to give him my thoughts on the position before leaving him with the difficult task of scanning the international fixture lists to see who is available and for what length of time.
So many tours are arranged these days, some at very short notice, that it is very hard to find top-quality batsmen or bowlers who can commit for even a large part of our domestic programme, let alone all of it.
There are plans for changes off the field at Taunton with additions to the staff. I know some supporters have expressed concerns that we do not have a specialist batting or bowling coach.
While there are coaches already at the club who help the players in both departments, it is fair to say that if you can bring in people with years of experience of batting or bowling in county cricket they are sure to offer a wealth of knowledge to tap into.
I would like to think we will have a specialist batting and bowling coach in place by the start of next season, but I'd also like to think we could sign loads of top players.
Finance is the key and we have to be realistic at a time when many counties are struggling to make ends meet. I am sure that there will be investment in the team and the staff, but how great it will be is down to others more aware than myself of what we can afford.
It's fair to say that Dave Nosworthy has had a testing first season as our director of cricket, but that was always going to be the case for whoever replaced Brian Rose, a legend of Somerset cricket since his playing days.
Ask David Moyes how easy it is to implement his ideas in the wake of the Ferguson era at Manchester United. While I am not comparing Brian to Sir Alex, there is a comparison in replacing someone who was perceived as part of the furniture for so many years.
Nos has shown himself capable of bringing success to his previous clubs and the time to judge him fairly will be at the end of next season.
I believe Somerset will improve in 2014, not least because of the progress of some of our young players. Lewis Gregory and Craig Meschede have made tremendous strides as bowlers this year, to such an extent that they were leading our attack in the final games.
Tom Abell was voted our Young Player of the Year and, having batted with him in a second XI fixture recently, I believe he has the necessary ability and character to make a big success of his career, possibly as my opening partner and eventual replacement.
Congratulations also go to Nick Compton and Peter Trego on winning the Player of the Season and One-Day Player of the Season respectively at our awards dinner this week.
While neither will remember this summer with particular affection as team players, individually they produced some outstanding displays.
As always, I have enjoyed communicating with Somerset supporters and cricket followers in general through my Western Daily Press column this year. My message to our fans is please be patient. It has not been a good season, but the necessary steps will be taken to ensure we bounce back and become a real force again.
INTERVIEW: RICHARD LATHAM