Matt Drakeley has been appointed by the Somerset Cricket Board as the new Performance Head Coach and will commence his duties on January 22nd.
Drakeley who hails from Minehead takes over from the previous incumbent Greg Kennis who has moved across to work as assistant coach with the professional players.
The 27 year old will manage the Somerset performance pathway for boys and girls. Paul Lawrence will continue to be the SCB Women and Girls Performance Coach and will play a major part in Matt’s team, driving cricket forward in the County.
Drakeley moved to West Somerset at the age of four. He went to school and grew up locally playing his cricket from a young age for Minehead Cricket Club. He was a batsman wicket-keeper in the first team before he left to go to Bournemouth University, where he studied Sports Development and Coaching Science.
As part of that course Drakeley spent a year gaining work experience with Somerset Cricket Board, where he worked alongside Andy Fairbairn, the Somerset Cricket Development Manager.
Whilst he was still studying at Bournemouth, Drakely got a job with Hampshire working for the Elite International Cricket Academy, which was set up to look after Australian cricketers, who included two players who are currently playing in the Big Bash.
He then went onto become EPP Head Coach, which then led him to become Head of the Pathway at Hampshire CCC.
Regarding his appointment Drakeley said: “I am really excited about coming back to work for the club that I grew up with and love.
“I have gone away to Hampshire and learnt my trade and now I can come back and give this job, which is a wonderful opportunity, my all.”
He added: “I would like to say a big thank you to Stuart Tudball at Minehead because he was the one who gave me my first opportunity in cricket both as a player and then as a coach so I owe a lot to him.”
Somerset Cricket Development Manager Andy Fairbairn said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Matt as our Performance Head Coach.
“It feels like a homecoming as we know Matt well from the time he spent with us in 2013. He has done an outstanding job for Hampshire Cricket over the last four years and I have no doubt that he will have a similar impact in Somerset.
Andy added: “I’d like to place on record my wholehearted thanks to Greg Kennis for his outstanding work with Somerset young cricketers over the last five years and wish him well in his new role with Somerset County Cricket Club.”
Drakeley is planning to return to live locally and already has signed up for his old club Minehead CC for the 2018 season.