ANTHONY McGrath says he sees no reason why Essex cannot win every competition next season after taking over as head coach.

Following Chris Silverwood’s appointment as England fast-bowling coach, fellow Yorkshireman McGrath has been named as the man to continue the good work of the last two years.

Appointed by Silverwood in February 2016, McGrath has helped inspire Essex to consecutive County Championship titles.

And he says he wants to continue producing homegrown talent, and give all associated with the club even more success.

“It is great to be here and I want to continue building on the great foundations that are in place,” said the 42-year-old. “Chris and I are similar in many ways - we are relaxed and laidback and have a similar philosophy.

“Essex is an environment where you produce homegrown players. We take pride in the local talent we develop and with that you get an identity and loyalty from supporters, players and members.

“I like winning all matches, no matter what competition. It is easier said than done but you build a squad capable of competing on all fronts.

“Chris was sat here this time last year and people were mentioning Essex and relegation in the same sentence. You need to dream and believe. Not many teams go unbeaten over the course of a season and there will be different challenges on the way, but my job and the players’ jobs is to win cricket matches.

“I see no reason why we should be shy and say we will not try and compete well in and win all competitions.”

Following two years of remarkable success in red ball cricket, McGrath was full of praise for the impact of Silverwood.

But the former England Test batsman says he is not resting on his laurels.

“The team has done well recently and Chris was so important in making this team successful,” he said. “He was a huge part in me coming here last year but from the initial chat I knew what he wanted to do and he has been a great source of knowledge.

“I am not sure if we expected it to happen so quickly but I want to consolidate and move forward.”




ANTHONY McGrath says he has “the coaching bug” after he was appointed as Essex head coach.

The batting expert was a consultant at Yorkshire before joining Essex as Chris Silverwood’s number two in February 2016.

Now appointed to the top job, McGrath - whose brother is the coach of Canada’s national rugby sevens team - said he always knew he wanted to go down the coaching route.

McGrath said: “I have always loved the game and been interested in the game and you are never sure about the future. My family has a sporting background. I took a bit of time after I finished playing but as soon as I got into coaching I got the bug and have loved every minute of it. I knew pretty quickly this was the route I wanted to take.

“It (leaving Essex) was a really tough call for Chris,” he added. “When the opportunity to help your country comes it is hard to turn down. The club had to make a decision and I have loved my role as assistant, but I want to do well in this post now.”

McGrath is now looking to bring in his own assistant. He says he anticipates a number of options and wants to make the appointment soon.

“I want someone in place quickly,” he said. “I am sure there are people that want to come here. We have a fantastic squad and fantastic bowlers to work with and we will have news on that fairly soon.”




ESSEX’S new head coach Anthony McGrath believes a busy winter will be the best possible preparation for next season’s County Championship title defence.

A host of Essex players, which includes Alastair Cook, Tom Westley, Dan Lawrence, Jamie Porter, Jack Plom, Ravi Bopara and Ryan ten Doeschate are playing overseas in the coming weeks.

And McGrath is confident that the Essex stars will be in fine condition come the start of pre-season, with a trip to Barbados to play the MCC’s Champion County match in March to look forward to.

“The guys have individual fitness programmes prior to Christmas to keep them in shape,” he said.

“A lot of our guys are away on England programmes at the moment and that is great for the club and gives it the recognition it deserves.

“All will be preparing in the right way and we have the tour to Barbados which will be a good yard stick for us.

“When we all meet up we will be keen to keep building and, with a lot of guys signing new contracts, this is an exciting time to be here.

“I have loved my two years down here and have enjoyed it from the moment I stepped through the door.”

James Foster, Nick Browne, Westley, Porter, Lawrence, Paul Walter, Aaron Beard, Aron Nijjar, Callum Taylor and Sam Cook have all signed contract extensions in recent months.

Meanwhile, club captain ten Doeschate has returned to the Netherlands’ international set-up ahead of the final two matches of the ICC World Cricket League against Namibia, in Dubai, on December 6 and 8.

Ten Doeschate last represented the Netherlands at the 2011 World Cup, where he became one of only three players to make two centuries in a single edition of the competition.