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Greg Kennis settling in nicely

Greg Kennis has now been in the post of Assistant Coach in charge of running the Second XI since earlier this year.

Greg was born in Japan but his family moved back to England when he was less than a year old. He grew up in Surrey where he played through the county’s age groups.

A top order batsman, Greg then had a year on the MCC groundstaff that was followed by four years on the Surrey playing staff. After that he moved West to join Somerset in 1998 where he played for three seasons before retiring early due to a recurring lower back injury.

During his time on the Somerset playing staff Greg played in six First Class matches in which he scored almost 300 runs, the highlight of which was his 175 against New Zealand in 1999.

How did Greg first get into coaching?

“Like lots of people I started to get my coaching badges at a young age while I was still playing. I was fortunate that there was an indoor cricket centre at the end of the road where I was living in Surrey, so my winters were spent coaching to earn some money probably from the age of 16 or 17, so it’s something I have always done.

“When I was playing I went away as a player/coach to clubs in Perth which I did for five years. Then, when I stopped playing First Class cricket I had contacts there that enabled me to set up an academy which gave young English cricketers a chance to go abroad and play cricket. I did that for four years.”

A couple of the players who were part of that Academy were Ian Westwood and a young Moeen Ali.

Greg went on: “During my last winter 2005/2006, Jason Kerr came out to Perth to observe some of the Somerset guys who were out there playing cricket and he had just taken over the Academy role at Somerset. He approached me and asked if I’d be interested in working alongside him as Assistant/Batting Coach with the Academy.

“I didn’t have to think twice about his offer and jumped at the opportunity. That then grew to becoming involved with the Under 17s, which led to me taking on a larger part-time role with the Somerset Cricket Board. That saw me heading up the winter age group training programme.

“I then took on running the EPP (Emerging Player Programme) and things quickly snowballed until in 2012 I became full time Head Coach for the Somerset Cricket Board. I was also involved on the SCCC side of things working as Batting Lead Coach on the Academy, so there has always been a link with the Club.

“One of the advantages with my new role as Assistant Coach in charge of the Second XI is that I’ve worked with many of the players on the staff as they have grown up through the Pathway, so there are already relationships in place.

“The new role is a very different one but, because I’ve worked with many of the professionals on the staff over the years, it doesn’t feel that different. I’m still seeing the same faces but working a little bit closer with them.

“I’m loving every minute of it and really enjoying working with Andy Hurry, Jason Kerr, Steve Snell and Paul Tweddle who have all been involved with the Pathway. It’s a very tight knit group, however within that there is the opportunity to challenge and question what is going on as well.

The really exciting thing for me is to be able to be a member of a team of people who are wanting to try to write history at Somerset. That is what is driving everybody forward.”

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