Corday wants Somerset to act like contenders
Somerset will not be at full strength for their opening Belco Cup match today with Bailey's Bay, but Mike Corday, their cricket chairman, still expects them to be competitive in all the competitions this summer.
The Cup Match champions have a solid crop of young players, some of the best on the Island, although they did lose batsman Shaquille Jones to Willow Cuts. Jones captained the Colts Cup Match team to victory over St George's last year. Justin Corday, Justin Donawa and Chikosi Basden are all in school abroad and will miss the start of the season, as will Jordan DeSilva and Tyshaun Brown, who are abroad with the Bermuda Regiment.
Christion Gibbons, a member of Bermuda Under-17, joins from Southampton Rangers and should bring something to the team with both bat and ball.
Corday expects the team under captain Jekon Edness to be give a good account of themselves this season, with survival in the top division their main priority. Their seventh-place finish in the league last season meant they just made the cut for the top division as cricket returns to two divisions.
“Jekon is doing a fantastic job of keeping the guys together,” Corday said.
Initially Somerset were scheduled to be at home to Bailey's Bay, but the match will now take place at Sea Breeze Oval. “We won't be at our strongest, but we will still be competitive. Last year we had Bay's number, but they are a very strong team and I don't expect it to be easy at all, especially this year.
“I've already told the guys in no uncertain terms that it doesn't make sense playing if you're not playing to win. Any competition we play we expect to do well, whether it is the PDL, the Belco Cup or the Premier Division. We're not interested in being in the league just to compete; we want to be contenders.
“We have enough good young players that if it doesn't happen right away, that it will happen eventually. Our future looks quite bright and the senior players we have are doing a good job of moulding the young players. We have a good balance of senior players and youth players, and we can't ask for better than Jeff Richardson [as coach].”
Corday feels the loss of Jones to Cuts will only be a temporary one, having come up through Somerset programme. “Shaq had his reasons for going to Willow Cuts this year, but I can see Shaq back on board [in the future],” Corday said. “It is a decision that he has made and we have to respect that.”
One player looking forward to playing this year after transferring to Somerset last year is Pierre Smith, a North Village footballer. “He signed for us but had other commitments,” Corday said.
2013 position: Seventh
Captain: Jekon Edness
Transfers in: Christion Gibbons (Rangers)
Transfers out: Shaquille Jones (Willow Cuts).