Pete Sanderson has been involved with Somerset County Cricket Club in one role or another for more than half of his lifetime – but whatever he does there is no doubting his commitment and enthusiasm for the county he was born in and proud to be involved with.
“Some might say I have been here too long!” he said when we caught up with him earlier this week. “When I look back at all the time that I played age group cricket and a few games for the Second XI, then yes I have had a long association with Somerset. The Club is part of me and has been a huge part of my life ever since I first became involved.”
Pete, who was born and grew up in Timsbury in the north east of the county, now works for the Club in two capacities as he explained: “I’m an assistant coach and now mainly focus on batting, although I’ve been involved with fielding in the past and in addition to that I work as the performance analyst. Essentially there are two strands to this. Pre-match I will carry out investigations on the opposition and the ground we are going to play at and present a detailed breakdown on each member of the opposition squad. The second part to my job as analyst is on match days when we video every ball that is bowled at this ground. From that I collect data and what has happened to that delivery. The ECB require that to be done and the results are fed up the line to their database for their selectors to use and we also use it to analyse our own performances. The coaches will also take note of this and use it for any future work that they may be doing with their own players.
“In the summer I work pretty much full time, but I also do some work throughout the year with South Dartmoor Community College in Ashburton. I’ve also been working with Claverham Cricket Club, who won their league last year. I also do some private work with many of the schools in this area and I work with Wellington School and Staplegrove Cricket Club, so there are lots of strands to what I do. However Somerset CCC is my number one employer.”
How did Pete first get to be involved on the coaching front? “When I was about 19 and playing Second XI cricket I realized that I wasn’t good enough to make it as a professional,” he said. “I then went away from the club for a few years but I was made redundant from a transport company that I was working for in one of the recessions and needed a placement on a sports course I was undertaking. Julian Wyatt had just got the job as school’s coach and he had an overflow, so I was able to take some of them on as part of my placement and that just grew and grew. From that we started to run holiday courses and there was a move through Julian for us to get more involved with the Somerset Youth System and that led a road for me to get more involved with performance cricket.
“I get tremendous satisfaction out of seeing people who came through that system still playing club cricket at different levels. The supporters we have got here are just fantastic and all they want is for us to be successful. When I look back at the how the ground used to be compared to where we are now, we have come a very long way and that’s a huge achievement. I think that it is very easy to take what we have here at Somerset CCC for granted, but we are lucky in comparison to lots of other clubs and lots of other sports.
“I owe huge amount of thanks to Julian Wyatt for allowing me to get a step on the ladder because if that hadn’t happened then I may not be where I am now. I believe in fate and if I hadn’t been made redundant at that time then I may still be working for a transport company!