Janeiro Tucker ends Rangers relationship to join Somerset as player/assistant coach
Somerset Cricket Club have pulled off a major coup after securing the services of Cup Match legend Janeiro Tucker.
The former Southampton Rangers player-coach has been appointed as an assistant to head coach Jeff Richardson and will also lend his experience as an all-rounder out in the middle when necessary.
“Janeiro Tucker has now signed with Somerset Cricket Club’s cricket programme,” Michael Corday, the club’s cricket chairman, told The Royal Gazette. “He will be taking on the role as assistant coach to help Jeff Richardson and has been registered as a player as well.”
Somerset jumped at the opportunity to secure Tucker’s services after his contract at Rangers was not renewed and his arrival is the beginning of a succession plan that will eventually see him take over as head coach of the club’s league and Cup Match teams when Richardson steps down.
“We like to have a continuation plan in place and a big part of this is to have that smooth transition when Jeff does decide to take a back seat,” Corday said.
“Obviously, anybody would love to have Janeiro in their programme and we have been thinking about him for a while, so this has not just happened overnight.
“Janeiro has been involved with our Cup Match team as an assistant coach for a couple of years. He’s always had input into our Cup Match set-up, so it was just a natural progression or transition and we are extremely pleased to have him on board.”
Richardson is equally as thrilled and believes his addition can only bolster the club, especially as Tucker is committed to bringing players with him.
“I think it’s a major coup for Somerset Cricket Club and I think the programme at Somerset is in need of a refresher so to speak both for the club team and for Cup Match,” Richardson said.
“For years I have been saying that Somerset’s club team has needed one, two or three players to come up and help us to be a stronger force in domestic cricket. The nice thing about Janeiro is that when he comes, he is going to bring one or two players with him that’s going to make us a stronger unit at club level, so it’s a win-win for everyone.
“The minute I heard he was looking, I approached him and he has been helping me out in Cup Match for a dozen years as a player and as a coach so it’s a good fit.
“I am elated because Janeiro and I were colts in Cup Match together. He’s not fully retired as he is coming as a player-coach but I will encourage him to play only when needed.”
Tucker, who holds several Cup Match records, including the highest individual score (186), could not refuse the offer and is excited about the future at his new club.
“This is something I couldn’t turn down and something new that’s going to be interesting after playing for Rangers my whole life,” he said.
“Somerset have a good plan in place. I think what they are putting in place with their facilities and team going forward, it’s definitely a good programme, and I am looking forward to being a part of it moving forward with the youngsters and what they have there.
“Somerset has always had some good players and I think with my addition it will help things out a little better and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.
“I am not saying I will be playing a lot, but my presence playing helps because I am a believer in showing as a coach how I like things to be done and not just telling.”
Somerset’s gain is clearly Rangers’ loss and they have been further hit with talented youngster Nirobi Smith-Mills making the move alongside Tucker.
Richardson hopes to add even more firepower to his arsenal before the transfer period expires.
“We are working on one, two or maybe three individuals,” he said. “They have not materialised yet, but it’s a work in progress.”
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