Somerset’s new Director of Cricket Matt Maynard has made his first significant structural change since arriving in Taunton by announcing that the cider county’s Specialist Batting Coach, Dave Houghton, will be leaving the club later this year.
Houghton, the former Zimbabwe and Derbyshire Head Coach, was introduced as part of Dave Nosworthy’s new backing team for the 2014 season and has been at the County Ground since last autumn.
Maynard, himself a highly experienced batting coach having worked successfully at Glamorgan, with England and in South Africa with the Nashua Titans, made it clear that he wants to have a hands on role at Somerset and would be managing the batting drills. He did previously hint that he was keen to find an alternative role for Houghton by saying: “Dave Houghton was brought in having played the game for a long time. I have played a lot of times against Davie and also worked with him at the ECB and know how he works and he is a good fit so I’m looking forward to meeting with him later.
“He was obviously with the first team last summer but I envisage myself as taking that role next year but I am sure there is a role for Davie Houghton because he is a good man to have around at Somerset.”
Clearly no suitable position or compromise could be found so Dave Houghton will be departing. He will remain in Taunton until December to work with the Somerset Academy.
Matt Maynard said: “Dave Houghton has a wealth of experience and knowledge which he has freely shared with the players here at Somerset. He has made a great contribution during his time at the Club.
“However there is no necessity for two specialist batting coaches which is a shame because I have worked with Dave at the ECB and I know what he has got to offer, so we will miss him here.”
Dave Houghton said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Somerset. It is a great club with a fantastic bunch of players and I have many happy memories of being at the County Ground. Of course I am disappointed to be leaving but can fully understand the necessity for change and wish the club every success for the future.”
Dave Houghton was only with us for a short while but he did have some demonstrable success in that time. The team batted with a bit more discipline under his guidance, particularly in the County Championship, and some players – particularly the skipper, Marcus Trescothick – had a considerably better season in 2014 than in 2013.
He has an abundance of experience and it is always disappointing to see good men leave the County Ground but the appointment of Matt Maynard was always going to threaten Houghton’s future in the westcountry.
We wish him all the very best for the future and do not expect him to be waiting too long before the next big opportunity opens up for him in his career.