MAX Waller who enjoyed a very successful career as a leg spinner and dynamic fielder before retiring from playing at the end of the 2022 season is back working with the Academy three days a week, writes Richard Walsh.

During a 15 year career Max became the Cidermen’s leading wicket-taker in T20 cricket claiming 138 victims and pouched 86 catches with his athletic fielding explained his involvement with the Academy players.

“I’m working with a couple of the spinners throughout the winter which is really exciting and getting to know them and what they are good at, and working on areas of the game that they need to develop.

“I have also been working with the Academy on the fielding side of things. I did a little bit of that with them last year but this year it’s more of a full time role and hopefully we can deliver a good programme which enables the next generation of Somerset players to come through and outfield the current crop that we have now - and they are very good!

“I believe attitude is a massive part of that and they have all got the attitude that they are determined to get better and that's all you can ask really. Skill levels are constantly improving which is great and the way that the game is going now fielding is becoming more and more important, it really is  the third skill.

“I am really passionate about both spin bowling and fielding so I am really enjoying being her to work with the Somerset Academy on a regular basis. I feel that I can add good value to the next generation of Somerset cricketers.”

Since Max made his first team debut in 2005 fielding has become something of an art form about which he said: “ I suppose I was slightly ahead of the game when it came to fielding, and was quite lucky in that I enjoyed it, whilst at the time when I was coming through not too many did enjoy it. 

"I probably stood out a bit more than I would have done in this generation - I was always passionate about fielding and loved it right from the start, I always wanted to be part of the action out on the field.

‘The way that the game has developed since then is that everyone is now involved in the action, in any position and it’s about being as good as you can be in any specific role that's needed at any time in the game at any given moment.

“Fielding is only going to become more and more important and its a key part of the game and its something that I can add value to the next generation in.

“After spending 15 years in a professional cricketing environment to then be able to give something back to the next crop of players is something that I always wanted to do. I wasn’t sure how I would transfer from being a player to the coaching side of things but I feel that because it’s something that I really want to do it has been fairly  comfortable for me.

Max added: “My transition from player to coach is going really well and I am getting more and more experience and more confident with it and throughly enjoying my time doing it. I want to continue and see how far I can get in the coaching world thats my aim”