Market Harborough have appointed Scotland international Rob Taylor as their director of cricket.
The 26-year-old was released by Leicestershire – where he had been on the staff for five years – and has agreed to take on the new role with his club side.
It will be an all-encompassing job with control over all the cricket played at Fairfield Road and the main challenge will be to get the first-team pushing for honours after a tough couple of years.
“I will be overseeing all cricket at the club – from the first and second teams right down to the kids playing Kwik cricket,” Taylor explained.
“Hopefully it will give our cricket a direction and we can create a seamless transition from Kwik cricket on to the age groups and on through the club.
“It’s a good challenge for myself. If we’re honest we’ve performed as well as we would have liked to over the last few years and we’ll be looking to improve that.
“There will be no complete overhaul. We’ve already got a junior set-up that is well established and that’s a positive thing straight away.
“The senior section will be a different challenge.
“We need to increase the player pool so we don’t have the problems with getting sides out that we’ve experienced in the past.
“We will certainly look to recruit a couple of players to help with that but we will also be trying to get more players around more often.
“For a start I only played four games last season and a couple the year before. I’ll now be around every week.
“I certainly see us being higher up next season and not struggling where we were.
“Realistically challenging for the title might be a couple of years away but we want to be competing for league and cup titles.
“Hopefully having myself overseeing everything shows we have a plan and some direction.
“If you look at a club like Barkby, they have been doing something similar to this and they have gone from strength to strength.
“It won’t necessarily happen for us straightaway – although if you get on a roll we could be up there – but it will be an exciting time.”
Taylor also gave his full backing to first-team captain Joe Gordon who has guided the club through a tricky period in recent seasons.
“I was very keen he continued as captain,” Taylor continued.
“There was some talk about me coming in doing the captaincy but Joe has worked very hard to keep the side going and has done an excellent job.
“I thought it was better for me to have the overseeing role off the pitch and concentrate on scoring my runs and taking wickets on it.
“I will do all I can on and off the pitch to support Joe.”
His time at Leicestershire may have been brought to an end during the summer but Taylor is keen to keep performing at local and international level.
He added: “I still feel I’ve got plenty of cricket left in me.
“I will still play for Scotland when they want me and I’ll look to get some Minor Counties cricket as well.
“But weekends will be all about Market Harborough.
“It’s eight years or so since I first played here and they gave me the chance to open the batting and bowl my overs and that played a big part in my development.
“I now want to be able to look at the players coming through and give them that chance in the first team - to give others that opportunity that I had.
“I’m looking to give something back to the club in that way for what they have given me.
“I’ve been doing a fair bit of coaching since the summer and now it’s a case of working out what the long-term goal is.
“I’m starting my Level 3 coaching in January and, looking forward, I would probably like to continue that in an elite performance environment.”
Picture courtesy of Cricket Scotland