OUTGOING Somerset director of cricket Matthew Maynard has expressed his disappointment that the 2017 season has turned out to be his last in charge at the club.

Maynard had three seasons in the hotseat at the Cooper Associates County Ground, but has fallen victim to a change in approach which will see his current role divided into two positions - a head coach alongside a director of cricket.

Reflecting on the decision, Maynard said: "It saddens me, but sometimes things come to an end and you have to move on.

"The new CEO [Lee Cooper] has come in, they’ve had the cricket review, and feel that has to be the way."

Maynard had been in discussions with the club about taking the head coach role, but admitted that would have put him in an awkward position.

On the prospect, he said: "It would be difficult to stay; if the new director of cricket and I don’t see eye to eye, that’s going to cause friction.

"The most important people at the club are the players, and so the backroom staff have to work together as smoothly as possible.

"It’s been amicable. Obviously I’m disappointed but I know I’ll be welcomed back and I have some good friends here."

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The former England and Glamorgan batsman's final day in charge was a joyous one, as Somerset crushed Middlesex by 231 runs to secure their status as a Division One club.

That victory ensured a sixth place finish for Somerset, the second time they have finished in that position during Maynard's three seasons, while he will also be remembered as the coach who so nearly delivered Somerset their first County Championship title in 2016.

Maynard went on to cite this season's successful late surge which secured Division One safety as his proudest moment at the club, reserving particular praise for the club's youngsters and captain Tom Abell.

"Going into the last few games without an overseas player, and asking the young players – [Eddie] Byrom, [George] Bartlett, [Tim] Rouse – some tough questions, and finding a spot for the skipper, that’s worked well," he said.

"Obviously the batsmen came back into form, but we’ve also shown so much fight. Four games ago it looked like we were going to be relegated, but the fight we’ve shown has been very rewarding.

"Players don’t look for excuses, which was part of the dressing room when I arrived. There’s been a culture shift which I’m proud of – the players work as a team, not as individuals.

"We’ve seen Tom develop as a captain – his fielding positions today were very clever, very good tactically – and things like that will hold the club in good stead.

"We talk about the young players here, but they’re just players – age doesn’t come into it, they’re high quality players, and I feel very confident that in the next year or so they’ll win some silverware.

"The way our one-day cricket has come on, and the scrap in the Championship – it’s such a tight league that Middlesex who won it last year could be relegated today, that’s how tough it is."

Maynard also explained why he plans to stay within cricket in the years to come.

"Cricket’s my passion, and there are a lot of jobs out there," he said.

"Whether I go for a director of cricket, head coach, or batting consultant, who knows, but I’ll be coaching somewhere – there has already been a couple of offers."