Chris Rogers enjoying his new role

Chris Rogers announced his retirement from playing at the end of Somerset’s 2016 campaign but has been back at the Club as a batting coach and mentor since mid March.

After two months how was the former Australian Test batsman finding life on the other side of the fence? “It’s a very different challenge altogether being here as a coach,” he said. “Obviously you can’t affect things out in the middle and you are trying to give as much support as you can off the park, which is a skill in itself.

“When you’re playing as a captain I guess you are leading from the front and you direct the team, whereas coaching is about giving support. This is something that I’m learning and I’ve got some really good mentors in the coaching staff here like Matt Maynard and Jason Kerr, so it’s been really enjoyable. With some of the guys who are already in the first team you really cant really affect them as much because they know their games, but you can give a little bit of assistance along the way as they are into their journey.”

“Being with the Seconds is where you get to have more influence. We’ve got a fantastic bunch of youngsters who are not only very talented, as the results are showing, but they want to learn and get better which has been fantastic. They are well led by Steve Snell and Paul Tweddle and to be able to go along and help out and have a bit of influence has been great for me and very enjoyable.

“Someone like George Bartlett is a fantastic talent and his learning has been excellent too. Hopefully as a coach you can have influence, whether it’s talking to Ben Green about captaincy or helping Michael Leask with his batting and that’s great. You won’t always say things that they agree with but hopefully you can accelerate their leaning along the way.”

Does Chris ever miss the playing side of the game? “I don’t actually,” he said. “Having played cricket pretty much back to back for 19 years I have spent enough time out in the middle, and I knew it was time to retire. I’m quite happy to be on the balcony drinking coffee and watching the boys play.

“One of the things I have enjoyed most was meeting up with the boys again and spending time with them in Desert Springs. It was an absolute breath of fresh air to be involved and helping people again. It’s hard to know how much you miss that environment until you experience it again, which was an eye opener and showed that I had made the right choice to come back here and coach and learn.”

How has he found living locally? “Taunton isn’t quite Melbourne but I love the area,” he said “It’s about as Australian as you can get in the UK with the attitudes of the people who are pretty laid back and great to be around. The environment here at Somerset is very professional and it’s driven, not only by the senior players, but also by the young guys who are desperate to do well because there is such competition for places. The culture here is really good and when you are a part of that it’s contagious, so it’s fantastic for me to be involved with it.

“In terms of work ethic this is as good as any place that I have been in the UK and I think that’s a remnant of Justin Langer’s time here and how he drove the Club to higher standards. The people here like Matt Maynard, Jason Kerr or Darren Veness are so thorough and there is no stone left unturned.”

Chris added: “It’s a really good professional environment in which the guys are doing the right tings and wanting to learn and that’s really all you can ask for as a coach.”

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