Minors and Bascome at head of queue for St David’s post
It may be December, but speculation is rampant in respect to who will replace Wendell Smith at St David's CCC. With Smith's track record as coach at St David's it will be a tough act to follow for his replacement.
St David's won the league title three of the past four years, among other trophies. Some names come to mind to replace Smith, such as Herbie Bascome, Dean Minors, Albert Steede and Del Hollis.
The conditions at St David's should appeal to any coach, as they have arguably the best ground in Bermuda. The most significant bonus for any new coach at St David's is that they have the availability of a training wicket in the middle on a regular basis. On top of that, the team have dominated domestic cricket for five years.
While analysing the four candidates, I wish to suggest why each could be foreseen as a viable option. They all have unique qualities and I will present who I think St David's will most likely choose.
Hollis is a home-grown player who has represented St David's for years. He is well loved by the players and has the passion to coach. However, for this group of players St David's may opt for a more experienced coach.
Steede is another name that could be considered for the coaching post. In reality, he would be the ideal coach: someone who is firm, no-nonsense and passionate. One doubts, though, whether he would relish this type of opportunity and commitment because recently he has done only short stints with Somerset in the build-up to Cup Match.
Bascome comes to mind as a strong contender for the position, having played in the Eastern Counties Cup for St David's years ago. He would have worked with many of their players at the national level when he was assistant to Gus Logie a few years ago. He has a good relationship with the players, but whether he would want to abandon St George's is another question.
Minors is the other candidate given very positive consideration. He played with most of these players and actually helped them to attain greater heights some ten years ago. His reputation as one of Bermuda's best wicketkeepers ever and his track record at the national level as a player speak volumes. Dean is a calm character with great enthusiasm. That St David's invited him to speak at their prizegiving recently lets you know that they think highly of him.
Out of the four candidates, I think St David's will look to choose between Minors and Bascome. Why these two?
If they secure Bascome as coach, it is a strong possibility that they will also secure the services his sons, Oronde and Onias, but I doubt either one would be looking to leave St George's any time soon, but you never know. Herbie is well respected among the players and his appetite for coaching is a plus. However, whether or not he can commit to a full-time post is questionable.
Minors is, or should be, their main focus. He comes from Wendell's cloth, as he was brought up in the St George's team under Wendell Smith's regime that dominated local cricket for years. His winning mentality and professionalism will rub off on the players. Dean's ability to man-manage players is a bonus because that is the key factor to continual success at St David's.
Thinking ahead, if St David's chose Dean as their coach and Cleveland were to reach the final of the Eastern Counties Cup, a winner-takes-all encounter against my best friend would be electrifying.
Only time will tell. Whoever attains the post, it will be a massive opportunity, but while it may seem an easy job because you have so much talent, trust me, it is far from easy.
Expectation will be a high, with the Eastern Counties title high on the list of priorities. Yes, lots of pressure on a new coach. Let's see who is up for the challenge.
Quote of the week: To have long-term success as a coach, or in any position of leadership, you have to be obsessed in some way — Pat Riley