Fan’s view into 2019: Steve Tancock

  • Who are you, where do you live and how long have you supported Somerset?

Steve Tancock, since birth but my first game was on 6 June 1970, Somerset v Warwickshire and I was hooked. I moved away from Taunton after completing my degree but if anything my love for my county has grown as a result.

I now live just outside Liverpool but get to as many of Somerset’s northern championship games as possible as well as many days at The County Ground as work permits.

I am so grateful for the streaming service and the BBC commentary to follow as much play as possible from afar.

  • Overall how do you feel Somerset performed in 2018?

Very well, above expectations on the whole but having got ourselves into a strong position in the championship and to T20 finals day weren’t able to seal the deal which is always frustrating.

The Championship side did very well to take the title race so deep especially with the injuries early in the season. I believe we had a bowling attack that was the envy of all the other counties, if we only could have added some depth and consistency to the batting …..

  • Who was your stand-out performer on the field during the season?

Championship – James Hildreth is the obvious name but I’d like to give a mention to both Jack Leach who showed his class once he had recovered from his early season injuries and Tom Abell for his all-round contributions and inspired leadership.

One Day – Lewis Gregory, for a number of sensational all-round performances and leadership in T20

  • What will be your stand-out memory of last season and why?

The victory at Headingley, partly because I was there, partly because I followed pretty much all of the previous 3 days on the radio but specifically because Somerset showed a determination to win that was not going to be denied.

  • Are you happy with our preparations building up to 2019 (recruitment, preseason, etc.)

I think Jack Brooks is a great signing adding further depth and options to the bowling attack. I would like us to have signed another batsman (Notts seem to have cornered the market in that regard!) so hope that the development of the “3 B’s” Banton, Bartlett and Byrom reaps rewards this season.

Given pre-season has been affected by the floodlight work it appears to me that preparations couldn’t have gone much better. Abu Dhabi seems to have worked well.

  • How do you think we will perform in 2019:
    • Specsavers County Championship

Can Surrey be caught? Yes, I’d go so far as to say that they will find it hard to repeat. While a good start isn’t essential it would help a lot. I think we are stronger than most of the other Div 1 sides and expect our opponents will not relish l facing our bowling attack at any stage of the season.

  • Royal London One Day Cup

Difficult, the earlier start to the competition makes it even more of a lottery. Getting to the knock out is possible given these limitations after that we would have a very good shout.

  • NatWest T20 Blast

I would hope for a repeat of the performance at the group stage in so far as securing a home QF. Last year’s dismal performance in the semi-final would stand us in good stead to go all the way if we get there.

  • Who do you expect to be our most important player in 2019?

Tom Abell. Runs, wickets, leadership.

  • Who is the young player you think can develop into a key player in the new season?

This is a think and hope – Dom Bess

  • Are you looking forward to watching Somerset under floodlights?

Excited – YES – can’t wait to experience a T20 game later in the year. Have envied those counties with lights for years, now we will be the envy of others

  • In general what is your main hope for the 2019 season for Somerset?

I hope that we can be in the conversation for the title in September. If we could have added the 50 over cup or the T20 so we have some long overdue and much deserved silverware that would be great.

On an individual level I’d like to see Abell, the Overtons and Dom Bess all push their England credentials and Jack Leach to contribute both to Somerset and an England Ashes win.

From. A wider point of view I’d like to see the club stand up as the pre-eminent non test match ground against the inequalities that next season creates.