After being appointed as the club’s new Bowling Coach at the end of the season, former Kent bowler Simon Cook is already looking to help build on the foundations put in place in 2019.
“I think if you look back on the season, it’s been a season of ‘nearlies’. A great T20 start that fell-off, a good start in the Championship with a mid-table finish, and probably one or two results away from really challenging for the title.
“What I’d like to bring in is that cutting edge and a different way of looking at things, to try and help get through the tough periods in games that we’ve lost in the past. If we can start winning those elements of games, we can have a very successful next year and going on.”
After leaving Kent in 2013 after already achieving his ECB Level 4 Coaching Award whilst still playing for the county, Cook took up coaching roles with Hong Kong Cricket Club before becoming head coach of the Hong Kong national side in 2018.
Now back at the club after six years away, Cook sees the value of getting experience elsewhere before taking up his current role back at the club where he earned County Cap 202, and also won the 2007 Twenty20 Cup.
“One thing I was very conscious of when I stopped playing and wanted to transition into coaching was that I actually had a big break away from a familiar environment and a dressing room which I was very comfortable in as a player.
“I think it’s very important to have that break to become your own coach and not just a clone of the current environment.
The 42-year-old comes to the county after what has really been a watershed year for the club.
“Obviously, Allan Donald was here offering fantastic experience and knowledge of fast bowling.
“Aside from my day to day work with the pros I will bring continuity, being based here for 12 months of the year rather than in a seasonal role enables us to develop the younger players through our Pathway.
“We’ve got five guys here during the Winter that I can work with on specific areas which have been identified already.
And is it a similar experience being at the club now to when he was here as a player?
“There’s lots different, and there’s some stuff that’s all the same here. The surroundings here and the development that has gone on is significant since I was here [as a player].
“There’s still a few people in the office that are the same, it’s great to see them, and there are new people there, too.
“Players-wise, it’s really interesting because when I left here in 2013, I think seven of the current squad were in and around the second team at that point. To see them come through and develop into some of the countries most exciting young players is very exciting.