Meet the Academy Team

The players across the Somerset Pathway will be working hard this winter under the stewardship of Somerset Academy Head Coach, Steve Snell.

Steve’s Academy Coaching Team is made up of a number of familiar faces.

We spoke with Steve this week and he introduced us to the rest of the team.

James Alway (Academy and Pathway Strength & Conditioning Coach)

“This is James’ first year having responsibility for the Pathway and the Academy, but he has made a really big impression across the Pathway due to his levels of diligence and understanding of his specialist area. He’ll be looking at athletic development as well as strength areas. That means that he will be looking at ways to help the players develop their movement. He’ll be delivering sessions in schools as well as here at the Cooper Associates County Ground right across the Pathway. I’m really excited to see how his work will transition in to the cricket side of things and it’s a great opportunity for him to develop as well.”

Matt Drakeley (Head of Performance Cricket, Somerset Cricket Board)

“Matt’s work with the Cricket Board dovetails nicely with the Academy Programme. He’s extremely experienced and previously worked at Hampshire with the EPP and Academy there, and I certainly see him playing a major role at the Academy coaching sessions. He has a really creative way of coaching and I’ve really enjoyed seeing his approach so far. He’s extremely skilled across a number of aspects of the game and also has a good understand of how a young player’s mind works. He will certainly be a big addition to the Academy Programme. Matt and I are communicating all the time about the players in our Pathway and it’s extremely important that the Club and the Board work closely on this.”

Andrew Griffiths (Academy and Pathway Bowling Coach)

“Andrew’s main role is as Somerset’s Performance Analyst but he also acts as our Bowling Coach. He’s working with a plethora of bowlers across the Academy right down to age group cricket and also with women and girls. His knowledge base is constantly growing and he’s an avid learner. He’s made some really significant impacts for our Pathway bowlers. He’ll be delivering sessions in a group basis but also in a one to one format to ensure that they are getting the right amount of contact time. His attention to detail, as you would expect from a Performance Analyst, is extremely thorough and we’ve seen some significant uplift in the quality and quantity of the bowlers that we’ve got coming through and that is certainly, in part, down to Andrew.”

Paul Tweddle (Coach)

“Paul is one of the Somerset First XI Coaches and he has worked tirelessly across the Academy and EPP for the past few years. When his professional duties allow, he’ll be hugely influential on the Pathway players across a range of skills. We will be particularly looking to use his expertise in the area of fielding and he’s already delivered an excellent session in terms of arm care and throwing for the Academy players. We’re looking forward to having him as part of the team again.”

Greg Kennis (Lead Batting Coach)

“Greg is Somerset’s Second XI Head Coach but he will be working on a one to one basis with our batters. One of the aspects that Greg and I have discussed is the importance, from a foundation perspective, of the players having excellent basics. They must be presenting enough of the bat-face through the ball and their movements should be sharp and consistent. Greg will be working with all our batters across the winter and the players will want to be working with him in the summer for the Second XI, so it’s important for them to build a relationship with Greg. It will also give Greg the chance to learn about each player and connect with them on a personal level.”

Chris Bodman (Psychologist)

“Chris is extremely experienced in the business of cricket, having previously worked with Gloucestershire for a number of seasons. He is also currently the England Young Lions Psychologist. He has worked across a number of other sports including Gloucester Rugby and with the England Institute of Sport. I’m excited about his involvement in our Pathway and naturally there is excellent cross over with our young players who will be working with him this winter with the Young Lions.”

Pete Sanderson (Academy Player and Coach Mentor)

“Pete will be well know to Somerset Members and supporters, having undertaken a number of roles within the Club over the years. His primary focus now is as the Director of Cricket at Tauntoon School, but he is still engaged in the Somerset Academy Programme and fulfills the role of Player and Coach Mentor. He has significant experience in coach education and his role provides the opportunity for us to check and test our processes, content and delivery for both players and coaches. In his role Pete provides a healthy level of challenge and is helping to prioritise and generate self awareness across the Academy Programme.”

Steve also highlighted the importance of input from additional coaches.

“One aspect of the Academy Programme that I particularly enjoy is providing the opportunity for additional coaches to develop their skills,” he said. “We’ve engaged Roelof van der Merwe and Alex Barrow on the Academy Programme as consultant coaches this winter and, when time allows, they’ll be delivering one to one sessions and providing the benefit of their professional playing experience. Although it’s the beginning of their coaching journey, I see significant benefit in their interaction with our elite young players.

“The connectivity between the Academy Programme and the Club as a whole is extremely strong, and the high level of interest from SCCC Director of Cricket Andy Hurry and Head Coach Jason Kerr highlights the importance that they place in the Club producing its own players.”

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