TKC discusses his memorable first year

Tom Kohler-Cadmore was thrilled to be part of a trophy-winning team so early in his career as a Somerset player.

Here he reflects with Richard Latham on the catch that clinched victory in the Vitality Blast final and other memories of a successful first season at Taunton.

How easy was it for you to adapt to life in the West country following your move from Yorkshire?

“From day one when I walked in the door at the Cooper Associates County Ground I was made to feel welcome. I found myself in a dressing room where everyone acted as best mates. When the games began the buzz around the ground was great with the supporters really behind us. I moved into Ben Green’s house on the outskirts of Taunton, where Tom Lammonby also lives, and that helped me settle in. Ben is my landlord and he runs a tight ship!”

Your first season with Somerset saw the team lift the Vitality Blast trophy after a brilliant group campaign. What made the side so special in that competition?

“We had a squad of 15 guys who all knew their individual roles, along with some very talented younger guys. It meant that when we lost the likes of Roelof van der Merwe, Peter Siddle and Lewis Gregory to injury we had the strength in depth to keep winning. We won most of our group games comfortably and my favourite match leading up to Finals Day was the quarter-final victory over Notts at Taunton on a tacky pitch that suited them more than us.

“We were in trouble when Ben Green and Lewis Gregory put together a superb match-winning stand. The team found a way to win that day, which was important going forward. I have never played in a better fielding side. Coach Paul Tweddle deserves a lot of credit for that because he did a lot of drills with us. We took some great catches, but also saved loads of runs with our ground fielding. Every player in the team was a potential match-winner, which gave us enormous confidence.”

Finals Day at Edgbaston brought victories over Surrey and Essex. What do you recall about those games?

“We didn’t really perform with the bat, but in each game we scored enough to give us a chance and we found a way to win. The pitch was two-paced and not great to bat on, so even at halfway in both matches we felt we could defend our totals. Sean Dickson came up with a way of making runs on the surface and played a massive role in the two wins. It wasn’t about hard hits, but rather compiling ones and twos. We knew we were capable of saving ten runs with our fielding and that’s how it turned out.

“Kasey Aldridge’s catch to dismiss Adam Rossington in the final was outstanding. I was at extra cover alongside Kasey at cover, so I saw how hard Rossington struck the ball. That was where the game started to change and go our way.”

What do you remember of your one-handed catch at short third-man, which claimed the last Essex wicket and victory in the final?

“The biggest initial feeling was relief. I knew how destructive Daniel Sams could be with the bat and when Essex were nine wickets down, he started hitting the ball really sweetly. Winning the Blast had been an ambition of mine from the earliest stages of my career and he was threatening to foil it a year after I had lost in the semi-finals with Yorkshire. To be honest, I think I made the catch look more difficult than it was – but what a sweet moment!”

It’s fair to say the County Championship campaign did not go to plan.

“No, we drew four of our first five games, three of them at Taunton, which left us a lot of ground to make up. By the time we played Surrey at Taunton we had an outside chance, but had to beat them. Instead, we got outplayed on a pitch that suited their bowlers. While I enjoy making runs, above all I want to win, so I would be happy for us to play on wickets that help our bowlers, if it resulted in Somerset being county champions. You don’t have to score a century to make a significant contribution to a low-scoring game. To me, winning trophies is far more important than personal statistics.”

Sum up your summer as a Somerset player.

“Lifting a trophy makes any season special. I knew some of the players when I arrived, but found the spirit among the whole squad to be fantastic. It’s great being on the pitch knowing that every team-mate and the entire crowd are willing you to do well. The atmosphere on and off the field was so positive and it was a pleasure to be part of it.”