These interim roles have been created by the maternity leave of SCB Women and Girls Head Coach and former England player Caroline Foster.
Caroline said: “I’m delighted with the two appointments because I know Somerset’s performance pathway will be in great hands at both senior and junior level. Steffan and Paul have both contributed to the development of that pathway already through their EPP and age group coaching. I know they are both keen to make an even bigger difference in their respective roles.”
Somerset Women are entering a new era of County Women’s Cricket as the ECB have taken the top two divisions into white ball cricket in both the 50-over Championship and Twenty20 formats.
A statement from the SCB today said: “This will feel like a new start as they wear coloured kit for the first time in the domestic county game, and under the leadership of a new coach. Steffan Jones will bring his experience of professional cricket to the senior women’s environment and intends to take the team back to Division One.”
Steffan said: “I am honoured to be asked to be senior women coach this year. Having worked in the County age group and EPP girls programme over the last two years I’ve been impressed with the organisation of the programme and the quality of cricketers coming through. I know what’s coming through now it’s going to be great to see the end product as such at the senior level. The women’s game is thriving and in Somerset we have a depth of talent and I hope I can inspire them and instil a professional work ethic, strong belief and above all pride in playing for the finest county in the land.”
Steffan has already started working with the squad by sharing his coaching principles and setting up a programme of winter sessions designed to raise awareness of how to perform at elite level, become more athletic and achieve the standard of a Division One County side. The squad will start training with Steffan on 4 January and look set for a big year in 2015.
Steffan will also continue to work at County Age Group and EPP level, now under the new leadership of SCB Girls Head Coach Paul Lawrence. Paul is tasked with maximising ways that Somerset can continue to produce and develop talented female cricketers and make sure that the county’s performance pathway continues to progress moving forwards.
Paul said: “I’m looking forward to leading our county and elite coaching programmes by covering for Caroline’s absence. We have a lot of quality in the pathway already and it will be my role to ensure it continues to thrive across the age groups. Myself and Dave Peck will continue to lead the U17 and U13 Girls teams and we will be joined by Stuart Butt who has become Somerset U15 Girls Coach. We also have Steffan Jones coaching across our winter programme so are in a great position to help players progress across all the disciplines and produce competitive teams for ECB competitions.”