Preview 2014: Mark Newman

We asked Somerset supporters to tell us about themselves and their love of the cider county. The fifth contribution comes from Mark Newman one of our north Somerset based supporters. Thanks to him for his contribution and if you are a fan and want to contribute too then please email us at The Incider and we’ll send you the form.

(5) Mark Newman from Weston-super-Mare

  • Who are Ya?

Mark Newman aged 39 from Weston-super-Mare. Currently a platinum member will be going to all home T20 and 50 over games, and as many days of the LVCC as work will allow this season.

  • Cider boy since?

My first memory of watching Somerset was seeing us against Surrey at Clarence Park in Weston in 1988.

I can remember most of my friends being able to scale the wall to get in for free, but I was never a great climber so it was the main entrance for me.

I can remember seeing Neil Mallender get Alec Stewart caught behind for 0, and can remember Stewart playing for England not long after and thinking he wasn’t going to be any good. Little did I know!

The other player I can remember is Steve Waugh, who was playing for Somerset; he had starred for Australia in the World Cup final against England the year before. As a 13 year old I was really in awe of seeing him play in the flesh.

  • Favourite Somerset player ever?

It is really hard to pick a ‘Favourite’ player from all the years; there have been many quality players. Early favourites would have been Mark Lathwell and Andy Caddick.

I always felt sorry for Mark Lathwell as he was a great batsman, but as soon as he played for England (and was then dropped soon after) he never seemed to be the same player again.

Caddick’s record speaks for itself; he was class whenever he played and like most Somerset players was a genuinely nice bloke too.

But I think the predictable answer for my favourite player ever would be Marcus Trescothick.

He has represented Somerset and England with such class and honour he is the best example of a professional cricketer. Anyone learning the game should look up to Marcus. His on pitch performances over the years have been worth the admission fee in itself, but on a personal level having experienced a very similar personal problem to him, since reading his book “Coming back to me” he has also been such a personal inspiration to me, to never give up and keep fighting on in life.

  • Favourite Somerset game

I’ve seen us lose a couple of T20 finals days, and one day finals, but sadly I’ve never actually seen Somerset lift a trophy!

The game that sticks in my mind the most would be the County Championship match against Middlesex. They declared on 600-4, with Owais Shah hitting 193, in reply Somerset hit a mammoth 850-7 declared.

Justin Langer hitting an amazing 315, and Pete Trego got his 100 in fewer than 2 hours and just over 100 balls.

  • Favourite present Somerset player?

It has been brilliant to watch Pete Trego, over the past 6/7 years.

Being a fellow ‘Westonian’ I always want him to do well, and over the years he has certainly entertained not only with the bat but also with the ball.

I have also seen him play in goal in football at a decent standard; he could quite easily have been a semi-professional in football if he chose.

  • In one sentence how would you describe the 2013 season?

So much potential, but disappointed more often than not.

  • Thoughts on the current squad

The 2014 squad is certainly one, that as a whole has to step up this season, we are nearing the end of many careers so need the next generation coming through to be more consistent and influence more matches more often.

My one concern is that our bowling attack is a bit too similar and that we don’t have enough variation.

  • How will Somerset do in 2014:

LVCC: Surely we have to improve on the 2013 season? After coming so close before this, I honestly thought 2013 would be our year, but for a long time we struggled in this format – have we improved the squad enough for 2014?

Only time will tell, but hopefully we can be mid table at least.

T20: I’m not sure how much of a loss Joss Buttler will be, being at Lancashire no doubt the selectors will take more notice of him now, but more often than not he flattered to deceive. Hopefully the numerous fiascos with signing an overseas player that was plagued us for the past few years can be put right.

I would like to see someone like Abdur Rehman come back to us, he was a match winner and in the T20 format he may be the missing link to getting us back to Edgbaston again for finals day?

Pro50: As with the T20 the batting line up for us is ok, what worries me is that our bowlers are too similar. With the new shorter format, a short decent run, and this could see our best chance of silverware this season.

  • Key player for Somerset in 2014

For me it’s all about how many runs Alviro Petersen scores for us, he is a real top drawer player and if he shines in 2014, we should see more victories than defeats this season.

  • Young player to watch out for in 2014

I think the Overton brothers may need one more season before we see the best of them, for me the young player to watch this season is Lewis Gregory, he showed glimpses of real class last season, if he stays fit for the majority of 2014, he could be our star this year!

  • Which player would you like to sign for Somerset (if money no object)

England qualified: Ian Bell to me is the best England batsman at the moment, sure he would love the West Country

Overseas: Pup. Michael Clarke just oozes class!

He said he enjoyed his time in Taunton last summer, I’m sure with a couple of crates of Thatchers he could be persuaded!

  • Apart from Somerset which other sports and teams do you follow?

Somerset is my summer vice, but my winter addiction is following Bristol City.

I’ve been following them both home and away since 1987, so am more adapt to failure than winning. But like cricket, I believe in supporting your local side through thick and thin. Like supporting Somerset, supporting Bristol City is not just about the game but enjoying the great social side, with a pint of Thatchers Gold with great friends.