Arul Suppiah: Somerset owe it to supporters to win silverware
Somerset star Arul Suppiah believes the club owes it to their fans to win silverware, admitting their inability to bring a trophy to Taunton is a problem.
The County Ground outfit have regularly been the bridesmaid but never the bride in recent seasons, finishing second in Division One of the LV= County Championship both last year and in 2010.
In 2011 they were runners-up in the FriendsLife Twenty20 for a third straight campaign, as well as losing the CB40 final for a second time in as many years.
However, Suppiah - who celebrates a benefit year in 2013 - believes changes behind the scenes and fresh impetus from recently-appointed director of cricket Dave Nosworthy can take them over the finishing line.
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He said: “I have been regularly part of the first team for the best part of the last five years now. Obviously it would be nice to cap it all off in my benefit year by winning a trophy.
“If anything, that is the only thing missing at Somerset County Cricket Club – we haven’t won a trophy. We owe that to ourselves and more importantly to the supporters. They have been very patient and I think they deserve a trophy from the players.
“I guess it is a problem now because we have been in seven or eight finals in the last four or five years and haven’t won any of them. We know that is the last hurdle where we need to get better to clear.
“But we have made a few small changes this winter to make sure when the situation arises again we can be one step ahead and actually win it.”
Suppiah said he was looking forward to working under South African Noswor- thy, paying tribute to his predecessor Brian Rose in the same breath.
“I haven’t had the chance yet to speak to Dave Nosworthy properly,” he said. “I know the club is waiting for visa approval and other issues like that to be sorted so hopefully he will be with us by the beginning of next month.
“With a new director of cricket I am sure there will be new changes that will be for the better of the club. I am really looking forward to him arriving and going forward with the club.
“I think Brian has done a great job in charge during the last seven years and it has been fantastic how far he has brought us. If you think about it, in 2006 we were last in the country, 18th overall and bottom of Division Two in the County Championship. Now to be one of the best teams says a lot for what Brian has done.
“The new director of cricket said himself that he is no magician, he is not here to fix anything that is not broken. If we can brush up and polish a few areas we will still be on the right path.”
Suppiah revealed he feared the worst when he was asked to call chief executive Guy Lavender when on holiday in Malaysia, the former Surrey man offering his all-rounder a benefit campaign and not the sack.
Former England youth international Suppiah is now planning for what could be one of the biggest years in his career, as well as planning for life after cricket.
The 29-year-old spends one day a week coaching at Chilton Cantelo after teaming up with his former Millfield house master Dr John Price, who is now headteacher at the school near Yeovil.
Suppiah said: “I have known Dr Price since I was 12 from my Millfield days. This has been something I have been looking at potentially for life after cricket and I just want to get some experience and a feel of teaching.
“Before you know it I will have finished with cricket so it is important that I have something under my belt that I can look forward to. I have only started thinking about teaching in the last six months.
“I just feel I have got the qualities I need to be a teacher or coach, so I wanted to put those to good use and get some experience. Dr Price has kindly allowed me to come in once a week which fits in with my timetable at Somerset. Wednesdays are usually a day off but I thought I would take the opportunity to get a flavour of things.”
Dr Price - who also taught James Hildreth and Yeovil Town footballer Reuben Reid at Millfield, Street - said: “We have kept in close contact since those days when my wife and I helped Arul to settle into boarding school life away from his family.
“It has been a pleasure to follow his successful career with Somerset. He is a great role young model for young people and although highly talented he worked and trained hard to achieve success. I am delighted that he is working with the pupils here and helping them to fulfil their potential, as we continue to develop our sport at the school.”