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Jensen Rogers in prime position to take head coach role at Somerset Trojans

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Turbulent times: Jensen Rogers guided Somerset Trojans to safety after coach Scott Morton left club for health reasons

Jensen Rogers, Somerset Trojan’s interim head coach, appears to be the front-runner to take on the role permanently after Scott Morton was forced to step down from the position for health reasons.

Morton, who steered Somerset to a stunning success in the Dudley Eve Trophy this season after previously guiding PHC Zebras to consecutive Premier Division titles, has not been in charge of Trojans since the beginning of January after being granted an extended leave of absence to deal with personal health matters.

Rogers, a lead assistant to Morton, stepped in to guide Somerset’s young squad who are trying to adjust to a third head coach in as many seasons and battling to preserve a place in the Premier Division, finally confirming their membership for 2023-24 on Sunday, when they drew 1-1 with fellow strugglers Boulevard, who have now been relegated to the First Division alongside Robin Hood.

Newly re-elected Somerset Cricket Club president Richard Scott confirmed on Sunday that Morton and the club recently reached a mutual agreement to dissolve the multi-year contract signed in advance of the season to allow Morton to act on medical advice, which recommended he relieve himself of the stress-related activities associated with the head coach position, at least in the short-term.

“Coach Morton has been in contact with us and we’ve agreed that,” said Scott, who inherited the situation upon his election as president with Morton having been hired under the tenure of Vashun Blanchette, his predecessor.

“Due to the health situation that coach Morton is currently dealing with, he thought it best to not only end the contract for this season, but based on what I can only assume is the advice that he received, he would give up coaching for the immediate future.

“Now, how long that lasts, I don’t know, but I think in the best interests of his health and our looking forward to the future, it was best to end the contract.

“There are no bad or hard feelings in any way, shape or form between Scott and Somerset Cricket Club. We have agreed that this is the best way forward.”

After Sunday’s crucial ‘survival match’ won against Boulevard, Rogers was asked if he was interested in taking on the head coach role full-time, with the one-time Trojans player responding positively.

“Always, Somerset is my club,” said Rogers, who has senior coaching experience after a four-year stint with nearby Somerset Eagles.

In contention: Jensen Rogers, pictured here when coaching Somerset Eagles, is prime contender for Trojans role on permanent basis

“I played for Somerset for many seasons and before I played for them I always watched and supported them. If the job was to come about then why not?

“Of course, once you’re a Trojan and an opportunity like that comes up you can’t turn it down. A lot of the guys here that I coach I’ve played with. I know them from outside of football, so I believe that it would be a smooth transition. This is Scott's team, but if the chance comes I’ll take it.”

Scott revealed that an appointment will be made only after a post-mortem of the season is conducted by chairman of football and club vice-president Nadir Wade, and there may be stiff competition for the role with Rogers just one of three figures on Somerset’s bench with tenure as a top-flight coach alongside Danvers Seymour, who led the team to the 2014-15 league title and former Bermuda coach Mark Trott.

“We’ll go through the post-season meetings with the chairman of football, which is the club's vice president Nadir Wade,” Scott said.

“They will go over how things went this season and put things in a place for next season and I am fairly certain that there will be serious consideration given to having Jensen assume the role of head coach.

“He would be given serious consideration considering that he stopped into the interim head coaching role once coach Morton was unable to  continue his duties. Of course a definite answer I couldn't give you right now, but will Jensen be given serious consideration, absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt.”

If Rogers is selected, it would mark a return to having a son of the soil in charge of the senior team with expert knowledge of the individuals, community, culture, as well as the club traditions, with Trojans’ club motto ‘Semper Paratus’, meaning ‘Always Prepared’.

“It will be great to have someone homegrown and who is looking for longevity, because one of the one of the keys to any team success is to have consistency and longevity,” Scott said.

“If We're able to have the professionalism and services of Jensen and his team, I believe that football for Somerset is in great hands. We were looking for that with Coach Morty, but because of the circumstances surrounding why we are where we are now, we have to shift our focus to looking at homegrown talent in Jensen and his team. I believe that, in time, we will see the success of our youth programme translate into success for our senior football team.”

“Jensen has played for Somerset and coached at Eagles, so he definitely has a great repertoire and relationship with the currents players and is very much in tune. He understands and is very skilled at what he does. Jensen is building a rather extensive resume in his own right, so he certainly qualifies and we wouldn't have any any questions or qualms about his qualifications and dedication to Somerset so those things will certainly bode well for him to be the next head coach of Somerset.”

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Published March 14, 2023 at 7:55 am (Updated March 15, 2023 at 9:32 am)

Jensen Rogers in prime position to take head coach role at Somerset Trojans

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