By Grockle et al
January 20 2018
On Monday Mr Cooper presides over his first Annual General Meeting at the County Ground. Mr Nash takes the top table for the last time and Andy Hurry is back for another but in a different position. What are we expecting?
The AGM has always been the point in time for me where one season ends and another is pushed kicking and screaming into a cold January. After all the regional get togethers this is the final autopsy on what came before and the first confirmation of things we have heard are to come.
Guy Lavender is no more so Lee Cooper will be the man in the driving seat for 2018. Andy Nash will step down as Chair and Charles Clark will take his place. The cricket questions will be in the hands of our new DoC, new title old face, Andy Hurry and the new Head Coach Jason Kerr may also be there. He's probably done a few but not in such a high profile position as this. The club skipper (red and longer white ball format) Tom Abell may also be present and even the T20 skipper Lewis Gregory.
This is the time to discuss things that have happened and get a few answers/pointers to what is going to happen or might happen in the next couple of months as appetisers to the start of the season towards the end of April.
We know that Cameron Bancroft is here as the long term international (doing quite well in the BBL at the moment) but we do not have much idea about who might be joining him for the T20. One would assume that there is one to come, Bancroft's T20 form suggests he will play all three formats.
It will be interesting to hear the assessments of what happened last year. I personally hope we do not wash dirty laundry in front of a crowd who ought to be looking forward and with a number of the people involved not present and unable to give their side of stories. The 2017 season was not a great success but we came out of it on the right side and we have people who have a lot to prove in their own right so it would be nice to see them look forward rather than dwell in the past.
Questions that might come up and are relevant are such things as the nature of the pitches and the plan for next year. We've heard some things but not the justifications for them and that would be good to know.
There might be something about the spring prep and especially the Irish game which is an exciting and novel addition which might bring more than the thermal crowd out to an early game.
Are there plans for other additions to the squad? I assume there will be no surprise news about Sam Northeast but you never know.
Who are the prospects coming through we should be excited to see on the pitch possibly joining the likes of Eddie Byrom, George Bartlett, Tom Banton and Dom Bess? Fin Trenouth and Tom Lammonby may be ready but are there bowlers?
I'm sure the prices may come up but I'm not sure what else there is to say about that after the meeting at the end of the season.
If you go, please let us know what your impressions are of the proceedings and the characters. There are a number who used to look forward to these sessions and have not been able to get to them for a number of years (me included for the last 7 years).
We shall wait and see what transpires........... interesting times
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Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018:02:01:14:54:28 by Grockle.
Usually at our AGM's there is less talk on cricket than on other issues, and I suspect that this year will be no different in view of the hike in membership prices. Some people still have it very much on their own private agendas.
I have just discovered the following letter which appeared in the 'Somerset County Gazette' recently.
Somerset CCC's AGM is 'one of most crucial in club's history'
Mr Amphlett does appear to have a point on the subject of debating and voting upon membership fees but, even though I have criticised the administration and management of the club at times and will do so again if IMO the need should arise, I consider that an attack on the integrity of both Lee Cooper and Charles Clark is hardly warranted.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:20:17:15:37 by Clarence Parker.
They seemed quite interested when it suggested that Devon and Cornwall might be included though it might stop our stream of young hopefuls to Taunton.
No indication of his possible fitness for the new season.
• Over 250 present according to the Chair. People required to sign in.
• 3rd highest spender on the cricket squad at £1.65m (Surrey top with £2.4m).
• 8 players from the men’s teams in various England squads this winter.
• 3 fixtures in 2019 World Cup at Taunton.
• Installation of floodlights will commence Sept 2018.
• Strongest finances of any County (Test Grounds tend to lose money if they do not have a Test).
• The Club does not outsource any if its operations.
• David Gabbitas awarded a County Cap for 25 years Committee service.
• Andy Hurry said the Club is “a long way down the process” of signing at T20 overseas player. Criteria include availability for “all or most” of the competition.
• Andy Hurry said the Club has sufficient playing resources to withstand some England calls/injuries but maintains ongoing due diligence on players who might be available to be signed should the need arise.
• Andy Hurry said there is a HUGE focus on carrying forward the intensity of the end of last season into the start of 2018. Players left in no doubt that not performing as had been the case in the first half of last season is totally unacceptable.
• Andy Nash said the Committee supported the new T20 competition because it considered the competition to be in the wider interests of the game.
• Lee Cooper re-iterated the rationale behind the new membership prices: If members just bought the games they attended last year 90% would be better off. Less than 200 Platinum members attended all 7 T20s. Of those that did most attended no CC matches. Nearly 500 only watched one T20. Sold Out T20s were only at about 75% capacity due to non-attendances.
• SCCC is a members club. If members want to influence matters there is a route through the Area Committee system.
• The Club has debts of £2.8m down from £3.3m two years ago. The remainder being paid off at the rate of £0.25m p.a. Warwickshire have debt of £28m. Yorkshire £24m.
• Presentation to Andy Nash.
Others will be able to add (and please put me right if I misheard or forgot things). My memory in need of an external hard drive.
As i was 1 of the 164 of 4200 platinum members who DID attend all 7 T20s (even the rained off Glos one) yet i also attended at least 2 days every championship match.
I cant question Mr Coopers facts but am very surprised in the fact there are so few who seem to watch all 3 forms regularly as he states is the case.
Based on watching behaviour 90% he says will now be paying less to watch their cricket under new structure.
Im in the 10% i guess paying £45 more for a worse T20 seat & no choice per match where i sit......
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:23:04:11:24 by Grockle.
And bowling wise we have;
Craig (possible England)
Jamie (Injury worry - hope not but...)
Lewis (Less of an injury worry but...)
Pete (effective still?)
Josh (effective 4 dayer?)
Meerkat (effective 4 dayer?)
Max (T20 only still?)
I can see we have spin and slow stuff but enough resources for a 4 day campaign overall if we are moving from pitches taking spin? Only if there are no major unexpected problems I would suggest - and when you haven't prepared that is when they come more times than not.
Who is coming through to pick up the slack? It is good for Josh and Paul but they have to come to the party when required. Do we have enough pace variation?
I personally hope someone becomes available while we are keeping tabs on things, especially if he happens to be a leftie.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:23:04:24:43 by Grockle.
If we are a members' club as stated then the club's responsibility is to represent the views of the members. It was a difficult position to be in but specifically consulting the members beforehand and asking their actual opinion would have helped. I wasn't there but both the Q&A sessions seemed not to have that kind of membership check but seemed rather to be selling exercises on the ECB's urban plan
I don't think the Chair's vote made any difference in the overall picture because they had already been shafted by the ECB media machine earlier but a principle is a principle I suppose and it is either accepted in all situations or not at all and the governance changed. It can't simply be used when convenient and ignored when difficult. My personal opinion is that we should have abstained in the vote but I'm not presently a member so what do I know.
Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:23:04:36:58 by Grockle.
If we could go to infra-red, we could sort out all players' (including opposition's) bad backs. This might interfere with everyone's TV remote controls within a mile radius though.
If we get a colour match for a particular team's kit, will they become invisible?
Would green light make the pitch invisible?
Ultra-Violet, X-rays, Gamma rays, microwaves?
This is exciting stuff.
I remember a Red Dwarf episode where the crew were advised to go from a yellow to a red-alert status, until Crichton pointed out that it meant changing the bulb!
I just imagine them all sitting there in the first big 'let'g get them boys' captain's speech putting their hands up and saying "... sorry I'm a little unclear. When you say 110% how much effort do you actually mean? Can we have some clarification please?"
“It’s obviously a very quiet dressing room at the moment and when we get the chance we will talk through it and see where we could have done a little bit better. To be fair Ryan Sidebottom bowled an impressive spell and got the old ball reversing and didn’t give us anything.
“It’s easy to look back and say we could have done this or we could have done that but we are a young side and a young batting group so to get so close was a great effort from them. The top order has been a problem for us over the year. I can’t put my finger on why that’s the case but we don’t seem to be able to get to 50 or 60 without losing a wicket at this stage.
“We’ve got a lot of hard work to do obviously. It would have been brilliant to have got the first win and Adam Hose had a good debut. We are not far away from securing a couple of results and we know what it’s like if you get on a run because you start winning those tight games. So we just have to keep on working hard.”
Yes, I know it was a statement for public consumption, but if the attitude in the the dressing room after a series of such debacles was really that complacent, then those players really did need to have it made clear to them that the apparent culture of taking the positives and ignoring the results wasn't going to be tolerated under the new management. And that 2018 wasn't going to be another year of treating the first half of the season as a relaxed practice run for the second half.
Hurry could not have been clearer that he demands a better start this year to last and many before.
We think we have got stronger pre season fixtures.
We have a big tent due mid Feb to get grass training in earlier than past years too.
I personally am not sure this slow start thing can be compared year on year.
Everything changes. Weather opposition home or away games pitches players player availability management.
I see no way we can link the start in say 2010 to last year and say "we always start slowly"
If Bancroft fails in early games it will have nothing to do with fact team started slowly in 2017.
So much changes year on year things just arent comparable.
Same goes for not having beaten xxxxx county for xxx years.
Once that stat goes over 3 or 4 years in all likelihood the players involved are largely different so this bogey side thing is meaningless.
Of course they know what they are supposed to do
Of course the professional cricketer is rarely complacent about a very poor run of form
Of course they all see that things have to get better
Is was simply that the phrase suggests that people have to be told that as if they are unaware of it (note to self don't forget the 'TiC' at the end in future)
One thing the new lights will do is detect which players - only opposition ones of course - have taken illicit substances.
Seventy Seasons a Somerset Supporter
As per Grockle's instruction I would tic but my emoticons aren't working. Now there is a title for a song.
As Lee Cooper mentioned at the AGM, regarding the Times interview he did last week, some of his comments were reported wrongly.
A worrying trait IMO. Past Directors of Cricket (Maynard and Nosworthy) have just sailed along in the belief that we have a strong enough squad to compete at all levels.
Andy Hurry may send out messages that he is glad to be back at his "home" club and what a wonderful club it is blah, blah, blah, but does he sense that we have a mixture of older players who must surely be at the end of the line (Trescothick and Trego immediately come to mind) and young and as yet untried youth who may or may not make the cut.
We need to start the season with 7 or 8 fast, fast - medium or medium - fast bowlers who could be entrusted to step into the First team and do their bit in the CC. We have a couple (and I don't care how fast they are) who are injury prone and will as sure as eggs are eggs miss out again in 2018. We certainly do not have 7 or 8 from whom we could select and trust to do a good job.
I don't have many concerns over the slow bowling or wicket keeping roles, but one must always be on the look out for back up players.
Abell was found out last year and other batters may well be undone this year. How much will Trescothick play? The batting too must be strengthened, but as usual we will coast into the start of a new season on a wing and a prayer. Leave everything to the last minute cos it will be alright approach.
We weren't relegated last year, but we came within a whisker so it should be another boot up the backside for those who manage our cricket.
The club meanders on in its all too cosy way. Do we advertise senior posts or is it all done on the old boy network? Let us hope that Andy Hurry isn't too close to the players in that they can get away with under-performing.
Until then I reserve judgement.
A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.
We weren't relegated the year before either when it was suggested as well so I suppose we have to hope your predictions go the way they usually do overall.
In case you missed it and come back surprised that I agree with you about our bowling. I've already pointed out the same concerns earlier in this thread.
Someone suggested we wouldn't use Bancroft in the T20... was there talk of more than one T20 signing or was the discussion singular?
We are definitely after 2 separate T20 overseas players.
Hurry said we are in advanced discussions with one and an announcement would be made through our normal media sources once confirmed.
It was then a knock on effect as to who we then targeted as the 2nd overseas.
At £40 per ticket we need to offer more than 1 half crocked allrounder that we got last year.....
Though on further reflection I'm not sure why there is resistance to Cameron playing in a format he seems to like and perform in. No one is worried about Lewis playing all formats or Steve Davis or others.
I remember someone saying that he will be going home for something during the season and I don't know when that is but if he is here and the choice was between him and some half here half motivated name I'm not sure I wouldn't rather have a player who has got used to his teammates and has already been part of their unit for a while.
That is the way it used to be boys and girls - you got one and he was there for everything.
Anyway the economic policies of the club say we don't need name attractions, we have geared up to sell out fully this time before the competition even starts haven't we?
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:25:08:09:43 by Grockle.
“Cameron will be available, subject to permission from Cricket Australia, for the start of the 2018 Specsavers County Championship season, all of the Royal London One-Day Cup fixtures plus the six remaining Championship matches that take place after the T20 Blast group stages. [www.somersetcountycc.co.uk]
What in the name of sanity does the club have to hide, or hope to gain from this action?
A local hack has always been present in the past.
A glass half - empty or a glass half - full?
Regardless, both glasses need filling up.
I have no idea what it is they wish to keep to themselves but the best way to get it out there is to ban the local press.
If they are still saying they couldn't attend the meeting something has gone wrong.
An agm is for the members of the club.
The press get press conferences when club wants to tell them something.
No reason any press or non members should be allowed into here confidential club business.
Why would it ever be a closed meeting? It's not like you are discussing world secrets. Anyway many break the confidentiality almost immediately they leave the conclave.
Its never been an issue on either side in my experience. I've been to a number as a member and as an interested observer without any issue. The only thing you respect as an observer is that you don't involve yourself in the procedures or votes.
When a considerable number of members can't get there it was always seen as a service to the absentees by the bosses and I appreciated that. It hasn't quite been that way recently I heard but I would be surprised if that was the case with the local press. But I can't say from personal experience since 2011.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2018:01:26:06:14:02 by Grockle.