Sussex in no rush to appoint new head coach

Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew.
Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew.

Sussex Cricket chief executive Rob Andrew says the club want the right man as their new head coach so are in no immediate rush to make an appointment.

After Sussex finished fourth in Division 2 of the County Championship and failed to get out of the T20 and Royal London One-Day Cup competitions, Mark Davis left his role as head coach by mutual consent.

Andrew wants Sussex to be challenging for trophies again in the coming seasons and said: "We're trying to make the right decision for the club.

"It's a big decision and we will try to get it right. There's no timeline on it, it's not as if we're playing tomorrow.

"We've got the winter, we've got a bit of time and a lot of players are away in the winter anyway.

"There's been a lot of interest shown from all over the place. It's a big decision and we need to get this right.

"The club have not made many coaching appointments in the last 20 years with the stability around Mark Robinson. It's important to take our time and get it right. We'll be judged clearly on how well that head coach does and that's the same with all head coach appointments.

"Hopefully we'll get it right and we'll get the right person in to take this club forward."

Asked if the new coach will be promoted from in-house or outside of the club, Andrew said: "We're pretty open-minded on all of it really. I've been involved in lots of coach appointment decision-making in-house and out of house, so we've got a very open mind on the whole thing.

"We're just reflecting on what the club needs and who's out there."

Andrew took over as chief executive at the club just under a year ago, after previously holding roles with Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and the RFU.

Looking back on his first 12 months with Sussex, Andrew said: "I didn't really know what to expect if I'm honest. It's hard when you come in to a new sport.

"You need to take your time to have a look at what's going on. I suppose on reflection we were probably a little bit disappointed. It's a new-ish team that's coming together, with some young players and some players who were signed in the winter last year.

"We probably didn't quite come together quickly enough if we're honest. We ended up starting slowly in all three competitions, that then meant we played catch-up all the way through all three competitions. We actually did that pretty well but I think it takes its toll when you're playing catch-up all the time.

"We just fell away at the end of all three competitions having put ourselves in a place where you probably would have fancied us to qualify into the knock-out stages and to get promoted. But maybe the effort of playing catch-up for so long just took its toll at the end.

"We need to be more consistent, we need to start each competition better. It's really hard in any competition if you start slowly and are playing catch-up."