The club’s chairman wrote on his own Twitter account late on Monday evening that “We will proudly announce our new DOC tomorrow pm. #wearesomerset”.
Any announcement will end weeks of speculation as to the identity of the new man following the news in late August that Dave Nosworthy would step down at the end of the 2014 season to return home to South Africa for family reasons. Mr Nosworthy has theoretically been seeking his next opportunity since Somerset’s campaign closed with a drawn game against champions Yorkshire on Friday.
It was hoped by the vast majority of the club’s supporters that a new appointment be made sooner rather than later so that the incoming DOC would have a full winter to work with the current squad and identify the areas where the squad needs strengthening via recruitment.
The new man will have work to do. Somerset have the fourth highest wage bill in the country and the club’s Academy has produced a conveyor belt of talent for the team’s management, yet their performances on the field over the three domestic competitions do not suggest that the cider county has one of the four best performing teams in the country. It could be argued that some club’s with smaller squads and less options have performed better than Somerset on the field.
There are 1-2 key players approaching the end of their illustrious careers and talented kids that need nurturing gently into becoming first team players.
The front-runners for the job would appear to be former England and Warwickshire spinner Ashley Giles and former Glamorgan and England batsman Matthew Maynard, who have both been interviewed for the position. Both have proven coaching abilities and experience yet neither have any allegiance or ties to Somerset, something highly valued by supporters.
Giles, however, led Warwickshire to the County Championship title in 2012; a feat Somerset have never achieved. He can also boast a strong advocate in Marcus Trescothick, the club captain, and a long-standing friend since they won the Ashes together for England in 2005.
The fans favourite would have been former club captain and Australian Test legend Justin Langer, who enjoyed a successful period leading the cider county out of Division Two of the Championship and into a team capable of challenging for top honours. He appears to be very busy with his commitments with Western Australia and the Perth Scorchers and his signing would be highly improbable.
Another former captain and Australian national, the Tasmanian Jamie Cox, would also be popular with supporters and has been reportedly interviewed via Skype, but those still close to Cox at the County Ground say he will not be relocating to Somerset any time soon.
As well as managing the large squad of players any new man will need to adjust his coaching team. Former Head Coach Andy Hurry will leave Somerset in the next fortnight for a place on the National Cricket Performance Centre at Loughborough University. The new DOC will inherit Dave Houghton as Batting Coach and Jason Kerr as Bowling Coach but may want to shuffle things around and bring in his own men.
We will, of course, have to wait and see.