Matt Maynard has started his winter rebuilding campaign at Somerset in earnest immediately after the season end as the club announce the departures of three more players following that of veteran paceman Alfonso Thomas.
Adam Dibble, George Dockrell and James Regan will all leave this winter and all were very promising youngsters in their time at Taunton.
Fast bowler Dibble was initially signed by the club on a Bursary and developed through the Academy playing for the 2nd XI in 2009 and 2010 before making his Championship and T20 debut the following season. He was a member of the side that enjoyed considerable success in the Champions League T20.
His time has been dogged by injury problems and his highlights will be the four for 52 he took against Yorkshire in a List A game whilst in the Championship he had a best of three for 42 and highest score of 43.
Adam said: “It’s sad to leave but I have got some good memories of some great times here at Somerset that I would never have got anywhere else. I owe the Club a lot. Coming out of school and into this environment was a real learning experience and I have enjoyed every second of my time here. I have had the pleasure and privilege of playing with some great players and have made some great mates as well. It has been a great experience.”
I would suggest left-arm spinner Dockrell showed most promise of the three having been signed by Brian Rose after a successful World Cup for Ireland aged only 17. He made his Championship debut in 2011 and in the opening match of the following season he enjoyed career best figures of six for 27 against Middlesex, which he followed up with six for 29 against Durham later that year.
George enjoyed another six-wicket haul against Warwickshire in 2013 and last season took 21 wickets at 35.76 runs each in the nine Championship matches he played.
George said: “I first came over to Somerset when I was 15 years old which is a long time ago. Since then I have enjoyed all of the time that I have been involved with the Club. I would like to thank Brian Rose for signing me in the first place and giving me the opportunity to play for the county where I have felt so at home. I guess the high spots for me would be the six-fers that I have taken and reaching the Champions League semi-finals in 2011.”
Wicket-keeper & opening batsman James Regan is another young player who came through the Somerset Academy and made his first team debut in the opening match of the 2012 season against Cardiff MCCU. James has played regularly for the Second XI and in 2014 enjoyed great success scoring 481 runs in nine Championship matches, including two centuries.
James said: “I would like to thank Greg Kennis and Jason Kerr for giving me the opportunity to join the Academy five years ago. I think my ‘keeping in the second innings against South Africa in 2012 was a high spot, but just coming into the ground each day has always been pretty special to me.”
Director of Cricket, Matt Maynard said: “It is always tough to release young players but ultimately we do have to make the types of judgments that are in their long term interests as well as the Club’s. In the case of Adam, George and James that task is made all the more difficult because they are outstanding young men and I am sure all of them will have a promising future in whatever direction life takes them.”
Matt added: “During their time at Somerset all have been popular and dedicated professionals who have added a great deal to the Club both on and off the field. We thank them for all their hard work and dedication and wish them all the best for the future.”
It is always sad to say goodbye to players, especially when they showed such promise.
I am particularly sorry to see Adam leave because he is a fellow Devonian and one I saw him play as a boy for Sidmouth and knew he had the ability to cut it as a professional cricketer. His short time was heavily affected by injury which always seemed to happen when he was in form.
He was also my first ever interview with a Somerset player for Deep Extra Cover and the first player interviewed for The Incider. I will remember his four-fer against a very good Yorkshire side as an example of his immense talent.
George looked a class act at times. When I saw the six-fer against Warwickshire, I and just about everyone who witnessed this performance, genuinely believed we had a player who could spin Somerset to victory for many years to come but it wasn’t to be. I would question the club’s decision to sign international spinners when we had such promising youngsters at the club and maybe we could have invested more faith in George and the home grown talent?
Likewise I am not sure his going off to play for Ireland against a lower class opposition than he would have faced in the Championship helped his development either?
Of the three I expect George to have most chance of being snapped up by another county and it is likely we will see him at the County Ground in the future playing against us.
For James Regan this was the make-or-break season. With Jos gone and Kiessy injured (only to retire prematurely) this was surely his chance to shine and push Alex Barrow for first team selection. Clearly he didn’t impress enough to do this but there’s no denying the ability. And he is a nice chap.
All have left the club with dignity and their heads held high. I would like to wish them all the best in their future careers.