Dave Nosworthy will relish Somerset challenge
Dave Nosworthy is relishing the challenge of ending Somerset’s wait for a maiden County Championship title after becoming the club’s new director of cricket.
The 44-year-old South African, who resigned from his position with Highveld Lions in June and has previously coached South Africa A, Titans, Canterbury and New Zealand A, will replace Brian Rose at Taunton.
Subject to securing the necessary work permit and visa, he will take up his position at the County Ground in February. Rose stood down in September, after Somerset finished runners-up in a domestic competition for the eighth time in four seasons, finishing second to Warwickshire in the Championship.
And Nosworthy is well aware of the expectation surrounding the club he has joined.
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“I think that is one of the areas we have discussed most – how to get across that line,” said Nosworthy.
“Unfortunately, it hasn’t been achieved in recent seasons, so it is definitely a goal for all of us – to get across that line and get a few trophies in the cabinet.
“The County Championship is obviously a big one for everyone, because it has never been done by the club before. I think that focusing too much on that can lead to you under-performing, so it’s important to follow the processes and allow the players to play with freedom and get on with the job.
“If you focus on doing that, more often than not you will end up being successful.”
Somerset interviewed many candidates for the role, before opting for Nosworthy, who, according to the club’s cricket committee chairman Vic Marks, was “the outstanding candidate”.
“We interviewed candidates from all over the world – those with exceptional playing backgrounds and international coaching experience – but there was no doubt that Dave was the outstanding candidate and the panel were unanimous in their decision,” said Marks.
“The director of cricket’s role is a very broad one, requiring excellent cricketing knowledge and experience, combined with strong leadership and communication skills.
“Dave demonstrated all of these during the extensive selection process and he is undoubtedly the right man to take the club forward.”
The Johannesburg-born Nosworthy, who made 29 first-class appearances between 1988 and 1996, led Canterbury to the New Zealand State Championship title in 2007-08 and the State Shield and Twenty20 competition in 2005-06.
He also took the Lions to two domestic Twenty20 finals and two Champions League appearances, and was previously shortlisted for the coaching roles of both India and New Zealand.
Nosworthy, whose ancestors hail from Sidbury in Devon, does not envisage making any sweeping changes at Taunton – and has vowed to place a strong emphasis on the club’s academy.
“The academy is going to be a big focus area for me,” he said.
“I want to make sure that those young cricketers in the first-team squad are polished, and that others continue to come through that process with Jason Kerr.
“I also want to look even wider and further, because I am sure there are areas of Somerset we can maybe tap into and who knows what we will find? The academy is a really important part of the club.”
Regarding recruitment, Nosworthy, who said it had long been “a dream” of his to work in first-class cricket in England, said he would first need to assess the current squad.
“I am in no rush to make any signings, to be honest,” he said. “The first part of my role is to understand as much as possible and try to get a real feel for what is required.
“I won’t come in and make big calls or big changes straightaway, because the previous director of cricket and the current staff have ensured that there is a lot of depth in the talent at the club.”