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Jason back from Australia and raring to go

Somerset Head Coach, Jason Kerr has had a busy winter.

As recognition for helping to mastermind Somerset’s successful 2019 campaign, Jason was invited to be a part of the England Lions coaching set up for their tour of Australia.

Jason was working with the pace bowlers and found the trip to be extremely beneficial.

“To have six weeks in a different environment with a different group of players was a really good experience,” he said. “To have had the success that we did in Australia was incredibly rewarding for all the players involved and for me as a coach as well.

“I’ve taken a huge amount from the experience and it reinforced a number of beliefs that I have about how I do things as an individual and how well we do things here at Somerset. There are still areas where we can improve, and for me that’s really exciting for the future.

“I always talk a lot to our players and staff about the importance of having a growth mindset. This experience for me was about learning as much as I could whilst I was there. It was good to be able to bounce various ideas off the other coaches there like Richard Dawson, Jonathon Trott and Bruce French. Being able to tap into the likes of Sibley, Jennings, Bess and Crawley when they joined up with us was also extremely useful. To have been in and around that environment and to see how international teams are treated on the other side of the world was very interesting.

“My goal was to go out there and be the coach that I am here. Obviously, I was out there in a different capacity, but I operated in the manner that I would do at Somerset. It was a case of helping to make sure that the guys performed out on the field. Within that, there are quite diverse relationships. We had the likes of Craig Overton, who is extremely experienced and is someone that I have an existing relationship with, whilst on the other hand I was working with Brydon Carse, who is relatively inexperienced, so I had to manage the various relationships very differently.”

Jason is proud that so many Somerset players and coaches have been involved with the England set up over the course of the winter.

“The feedback that we’ve had from their peers about how our players conducted and acquitted themselves out there both on and off the field has been excellent,” he said. “Everyone was impressed by the leadership qualities that both Tom and Lewis demonstrated. That is a real testament to those guys and how they go about their business.

“In essence, one of the reasons we exist is to help develop players who will go on to play for their country. Similarly, we’re an extremely aspirational club and therefore we also want our coaches to be the best that they can be as well. So, for someone like Paul Tweddle to be involved with the Lions as well is great for him. The feedback we’ve had from his contribution has been universally positive and he will take a lot of confidence from that which will in turn help us moving forward.”

Obviously, with Jason in Australia, someone had to step up and fill that void. That man was Fielding & Assistant Coach Paul Tweddle.

Jason was particularly impressed with how Paul stepped up to the plate.

“I kept in relatively constant contact with Tweds whilst I was away,” he said. “I felt that it was really important to empower him by giving him the responsibility of looking after things in my absence. The comments that I’ve had about his performance whilst I was away have been outstanding and that doesn’t come as a surprise to me. Ultimately, I have every faith in my staff because they do an outstanding job. My absence has given them the chance to take on extra responsibility and grow as coaches.”

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