Paul looks back on his time at Somerset

Fielding Coach Paul Tweddle has an association with Somerset that stretches back a number of seasons to the time when he made a number of appearances for the Second XI as a wicket-keeper.

“I was playing League cricket and Dorset Minor Counties cricket after finishing with the Under 17s and played a handful of games for Somerset Seconds at that time,” he explained when we spoke to him this week.

How did he first get involved in coaching?

“I started helping out with the juniors at my local club in Bridport,” he said. “I was interested by players developing and get better. I was always interested in innovation and found that I had a real passion for coaching which I didn’t really expect to have.

“When I realized that I wasn’t going to be good enough to play professionally, going into the coaching side of things seemed like a natural way of staying in the game and luckily I was able to progress quite quickly.

“I spent two years playing and coaching adults at Dorchester Cricket Club and then in 2012 I started to work on a part-time basis with the Somerset Academy.”

Paul described how that came about.

“I was working through the ECB Level 4 course when I got a call almost out of the blue from Jason Kerr, who was at that time Academy Director. He said he was looking for someone to work with the ‘keepers and asked if I would be interested. I came up initially on a trial basis and it has just grown and now I’m here full-time.

“I started part-time working with the Academy for a few hours a week and it developed. Wherever possible I would shadow the professional staff, watching how the coaches went about things and learning from them.

“I also coached an age group side and worked with the age group wicket-keepers, as well as a number of other things including working with the Academy and EPP spinners. In fact, I did just about anything that I could to get my teeth into.

“Things then started to build for me and I got some opportunities with the professional ‘keepers. As that grew and grew the fielding aspect of the game just seemed a natural progression and I found something that I am incredibly passionate about.”

How does he feel about the involvement that he now has at Somerset?

“I feel incredibly lucky to be involved with the game I love for a county that I love, alongside a lot of professional players who I’ve seen develop over a number of years as well as genuine legends of the game.

“One of the things that we are really proud of at Somerset is the number of home grown players who make it through to the professional staff. Being a small part of that process at both ends of the pathway is something I am incredibly proud of.

“It’s hard to believe how far I’ve progressed since I started to work at Somerset and I’ve been very lucky, but I’ve also worked very hard. The journey has been extremely rewarding.

“I’ve been challenged whilst I’ve been at Somerset. When I first came in and worked with Jason I was challenged in every session. This is something I live by; being a better version of myself each day. This is something collectively you can see in the players as well, they are always looking to get better.”

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