TOM Abell has said “it would mean the world” to lift a trophy ahead of Somerset’s latest crack at winning their first ever County Championship title.

Kent visit Taunton for the Championship opener today (11am start) and Somerset captain Abell believes his side are as prepared as they could be to go one better than last season’s second-placed finish.

Abell said: “Pre-season has been fantastic, both from a cricket point of view and in terms of building camaraderie.

“We invest a huge amount physically and emotionally and we’re such a tight club, a family club.

“It [winning a trophy] would mean a huge amount, not just to us but to the supporters.

“You see day in, day out, how much care and passion goes into it, so it would mean everything.

“There is a lot of hard work to do just to have a chance, and it all starts with that first game.”

Somerset look set to begin with James Hildreth at three and Azhar Ali alongside Marcus Trescothick at the top of the order, allowing younger batsmen to slot in down the order.

“Hildy is obviously a phenomenal performer for us with the bat and often your best player will bat at three, so it’s an important role,” Abell said.

“We are always looking at how to get the best out of our team and our batting unit, so moving Hildy to three has given him the opportunity to get in slightly earlier – and we know he can win a game on his own.”

There will also be a familiar face in the opposition ranks this weekend as Matt Renshaw, a popular figure in Taunton last season, lines up for Kent.

“I think he can expect a very positive reception as he had a very positive impact here last year,” Abell said.

“He went down really well at Somerset, but circumstances dictated that we signed Azhar Ali this year.

“We are blessed to have a player and a person like Azhar and we’ve got him for the whole summer, which is massive.”

Though Somerset look to have their top three sorted, there are plenty of selection dilemmas further down the order and in the bowling ranks.

“That’s potentially one of the biggest challenges we’ll face this summer, dealing with frustrations,” Abell said.

“You can only fit 11 in a team and we have a huge amount of competition and a bowling attack with seven or eight guys who are very capable of taking wickets for the first team.

“It is a great thing to have as a captain, but from a personal point of view you don’t want to let other guys down. That’s sport at the end of the day.

“Everyone is here to be successful as a team, there are no individual agendas, so we go with the best fit to win the game.”