Essex adjusting to life after Graham Gooch

ESSEX are adjusting to life after Graham Gooch.

Since the former Essex and England captain retired in 1997 he had continued to be involved with Essex as first head coach and more recently as the county’s batting coach.

But the opportunity to become England’s full-time batting coach last summer meant that it was becoming increasingly difficult to combine the two roles.

England’s hectic schedule meant that Gooch was unable to devote as much time as previously to his position at Essex, and so it was agreed during the winter that he would relinquish the role.

Former Kent batsman Matt Walker, who joined Essex in 2009 and retired after a successful county career at the end of last season, has taken on the mantle of batting coach and filling Gooch’s shoes.

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Head coach Paul Grayson said: “I have a huge amount of respect for Graham having played under him and then worked under him as a coach and latterly he has been our batting coach and helped me along.

“Graham had a great opportunity to go and work with England on a full-time basis and we spoke about it and realised that he couldn’t do both roles, so he has gone to work with England and I am really pleased I have now got Matt Walker working with me.

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“My job coaching the first team is not a one-man job any more – I think you need two people to do it and Graham felt a little bit guilty that he wasn’t around much last year.

“Matt has retired and he has been brilliant so far. He has got a great work ethic and the lads really enjoy working with him and I think he is going to be an excellent coach.”

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