Smith lends helping hand to Trojans
Larry Smith is helping out with Somerset Trojans while head coach Dennis Brown takes time off for personal reasons.
Smith, who led Somerset to a league and cup double in the mid-1980s after winning the Triple Crown with North Village in 1977-78, was lured back to the Trojans by Brown after the pair had a conversation last season during his brief stint with X-Roads.
He has come in as director of coaching, a role he now prefers to day-to-day coaching and is looking forward to Brown's return in his role of technical director.
“Dennis is still around and we normally have two or three nights a week Zoom discussions with the coaches,” Smith said. “He's still directs the programme; he just asked me if I could step in and coordinate things during his absence.
“I think he'll come back to coaching and I'll go back to being director of coaches. He and I go way back and I told him, ‘Dennis, I'll do anything to assist you'. When I was coaching X-Roads last season, after the game against Somerset — at that time I was not having a happy time at X-Roads — he casually said, ‘Why don't you come back home?'
“I just casually said to him, I'll think about it next season, as I didn't know if I would be lasting at X-Roads. This season he asked me what I was doing and I said I would help them out.”
Danvers Seymour Jr, who was his uncle's assistant last season, has stepped up to fill in as head coach during Brown's absence, with Smith assisting him.
“I want to concentrate wholly and solely on the coaches, as I'm designing a proper curriculum for the coaches from the pee wees right up to the seniors,” Smith said. “As soon as Dennis gets back I can get cracking with going to watch the others coaches coach. That's what I prefer to do these days.”
Vashun Blanchette, president of Somerset Cricket Club, welcomed Smith return to the team.
“It's a pleasure and a privilege to have someone with his years of coaching experience assisting with coaching the first team, having done it before,” he said.
“Dennis is the technical director and he assembles the pieces he feels are required.”
Somerset beat North Village 1-0 on Wednesday to keep alive their hopes of advancing to the semi-finals of the Dudley Eve Trophy. Village will play Robin Hood in their final group A match to determine the two teams who advance.
“I had to go on the field at half-time and apologise to the referee [Martin Wyer] because I was angry at something he did and he said to me to be quiet,” Smith said. “It was out of character for me. I offered my apologies and he accepted it.”
Smith was relieved that Somerset hung on in the second half as Village stepped up the pressure late in the game in search of the equaliser.
“We have a ‘cool down' meeting with the players tonight [Thursday] and will just talk. I want to tell them that this is the second time that, including in a friendly, you guys go in a meltdown around the 80th minute,” Smith added.
“Are we mentally not fit or do we just turn off. Games are won or lost around the 85th minute!
“We didn't play well in the latter part of the second half. I thought we were going to lose the match because of the pressure that Village put on us. It is good to stay in the competition and now we have a chance to get into the semi-finals.”
Devonshire Cougars, after their win and draw against PHC and Dandy Town, in group B, are the first team to advance to the semi-finals. Town need just a draw against PHC to join them.