Dennis Brown is back at the helm of Somerset Trojans, honouring one of the last wishes of his mother and sister who died recently.
Brown was approached by the club a month ago and did not take long to accept the challenge of taking over as technical director and head coach of the relegated outfit.
Conversations he had with his mother, Joan Alsace Trott, and sister, Deborah Brown, before they passed away in March and April also factored in his decision to rejoin the Trojans.
“Before my mother passed we had a conversation and I told her that next year was probably going to be my last year coaching,” Brown said. “One of the things she said was it would be nice to go back where I started from. That was my mother’s wish that I head back to Somerset.
“Once I mentioned it to my big sister [Deborah] she said it was a no-brainer, that you know what you have to do. My mom passed in March and my sister in April.”
Brown, who was technical director in 2015 when the Trojans won the league for the first time in 22 years, is keen to restore pride to one of the island’s top clubs.
However, he insists promotion is not the priority as he plans to develop young players like he did during the 2010-11 season when the Trojans gained promotion at the first attempt after being relegated the previous season.
“Watching them over the past couple of years, I’ve seen some crazy behaviour. One of the things I see in a positive light is that the team got relegated and I can basically now start working from scratch,” he said. “A lot of the young guys will be looked at before some of the older guys.
“I’m looking to go real young, with about four or five experienced guys who really set good examples for the younger players. When you get relegated you have to look to rebrand, bringing in the youngsters with no pressure.
“At that time I wasn’t even looking to get promoted, which is the same thing this time. I’m looking to use 16, 17, 18-year-olds to groom them for the next three years.
“There’s going to be no pressure on the players to come right back up but pressure to do the right things on and off the field.”
The club has also appointed Brown’s nephew, Danvers Seymour Jr, as football development officer with the responsibility to developing the game at the youth level. Seymour was the head coach when the Trojans won the league four years ago.
Seymour worked alongside coach Musceo Hunt last season when the team were relegated after securing just two wins in the league, although they did manage to reach the final of the Dudley Eve Trophy, losing to Robin Hood. The team will play second fiddle next season to neighbours Somerset Eagles, who replaced them in the Premier Division.
After winning promotion for Somerset in 2011, Brown opted to join Devonshire Cougars instead. He spent three years at Cougars, winning the Triple Crown in his second season in 2012-13, although he was back at Somerset two years later when they won the league for a record-equalling tenth time.
“That’s the club that groomed me to be the person that I am today,” Brown said of Trojans. “It wasn’t a long decision [to go back], we had a couple of discussions and took it from there.
“I know that both parties want the same thing for the club and that is to get them back to where it needs to be. Promotion is definitely not a priority this year, if it happens it happens, although I know that my teams are always competitive, wherever I go.
“I expect them to perform at a good level and to get back to the behaviour that is required on and off the field to represent Somerset Cricket Club.
“One of the things I want to do is get the community back involved in the club. That’s what it was all about years ago and that is one of my priorities as well.”
Brown leaves behind a good foundation at the youth level at Hood where he coached their Warwick Archers under-15 team,” he said. “That was a very difficult decision to make.
“We started three years ago and the programme has gone from strength to strength. I would just like to thank Hood for allowing me to flourish in their youth programme and wish them the best of luck going forward.”