AFTER a period of rest and recovery following the conclusion of the 2020 season, Somerset County Cricket Club's playing squad have returned to training at the Cooper Associates County Ground, beginning their preparations in challenging for silverware once again in 2021.

New signing Marchant De Lange has linked up with the squad, but they are without Tom Banton and Lewis Gregory, who have departed today (November 16) as part of the England men's touring party that will play three IT20s and three ODIs in South Africa between November 27 and December 9.

Banton and Gregory will then travel to Australia, as they are both in the Brisbane Heat squad for the Big Bash League, a competition which runs from December 10 to February 6, 2021.

Somerset have also announced the departure of bowling coach Stuart Barnes, who is leaving the club to join Cricket Ireland as assistant coach and national fast bowling lead.

The 50-year-old, who has also coached Bangladesh, Surrey and England Young Lions, was originally tasked with working with Somerset's bowlers for the successful 2019 One-Day Cup campaign.

He also helped to support the development of the bowlers in the 2nd XI before being named full-time bowling coach last November.

Somerset head coach Jason Kerr said: “I’m absolutely delighted for Stuart. He has earned the right to work in the international game with the potential to leave a legacy within the Irish pathway.

"This is a great opportunity and I fully understand and respect his decision to step away from Somerset.

“I’d like to thank Stuart for his significant contributions to all over the last year or so, and the role he played in us winning the 2019 Royal London One-Day Cup.

"From all at the club we wish Stuart and the family well for the future.”

Somerset are, therefore, looking to appoint a full-time bowling coach in Barnes' place.

The bowling coach will support head coach Kerr in the identification and delivery of key bowling objectives, leading to the preparation and matchday management of the bowling group.

They will work in the performance cricket department, alongside the director of cricket (Andy Hurry), head coach and other specialist coaches to develop a continuous pipeline of bowlers.

Suitable applicants will have experience of playing and coaching at First Class level, ECB Level 4, ECB Specialist Coach or ECB Level 3 or equivalent, with the ambition to embark on the ECB Specialist Coaching Programme.

The closing date for applications is Friday, November 27, 2020.