SOMERSET director of cricket Dave Nosworthy insists silverware is still the primary aim as his side head into the second half of the campaign.
The Cider men are currently third in the LV County Championship and kept their Natwest T20 Blast hopes alive with a 39-run victory over Hampshire last Sunday – but Nosworthy says the success of this season should not be judged on trophies alone.
He said: “The obvious aim is to say we want three trophies in the cabinet but that’s not always possible. But we do want silverware and that is something we talk about as a group.
“From another angle, if we are progressing our game and the younger lads are continuing to improve and the senior players continue to play well, that will be seen as a good season from another point of view.”
For Nosworthy, one of the season’s more pleasing aspects has been the match-winning contributions of Somerset’s younger players - with Lewis Gregory and in particular, Craig Overton, impressing with bat and ball in all formats of the game.
Gregory has taken 26 championship wickets at an average of 27, despite a six month lay-off because of a hamstring injury - while Overton, who missed much of last season with a stress fracture in his back, has taken 28 first class wickets at 24, as well as scoring 275 runs at an impressive average of 45.83.
Nosworthy said: “It’s very encouraging – it’s something that we started towards the back end of last season when we decided to start blooding the younger guys, despite fighting relegation, and we are seeing that come to fruition now.
“For a lot of them it’s their second season and as you often hear in cricket, your second season is tougher because opponents know more about you and you’ve got to work harder, and there have been a few lads who have struggled, but we’re pleased with their progress.
“Craig (Overton) has done nicely – my first week last season was the first time he started feeling pain and within a week he was diagnosed with a stress fracture.
“We took the conservative option and ruled him out for the season from bowling and let him play as a batsman towards the end of the season.
“We are now seeing the benefits of that and we’re really pleased with how Craig is developing.”