Essex CCC have announced that Anthony McGrath will take up the position of head coach, replacing fellow Yorkshireman Chris Silverwood, who is to join the England coaching staff.
McGrath moved to the club in 2016 to work alongside his former teammate as assistant head coach, and he made a positive enough impression ably supporting Silverwood and the team to two trophies in two campaigns.
The 42-year-old will now step-up from his position as assistant head coach, and he is delighted with the trust shown in him. “I am absolutely delighted to be given this opportunity, and really excited to get started,” he says. “I have thoroughly enjoyed my two years at the club so far and I am honoured to take over the head coach role at such a great county.
“The club have put faith in me to take over the excellent job Chris did and really continue the success we have had over the last couple of years. I am thrilled, obviously we will miss Chris, but it is now time to move forward and I can’t wait to get back with the squad.”
McGrath insists he can build on the success of the last two years: “I don’t think much needs to change from the formula Chris and myself introduced a couple of years ago,” he adds. “Obviously I will put my own stamp on things, but we have a competitive squad of homegrown players who are all passionate about the club.
“We know we need to keep improving, as people will target us now we are champions, but that is normal. Every single one of us needs to keep raising the bar as we can’t stand still and I will be working hard to make sure we all do that.
“If we improve ourselves every day over the winter and bring it into the season, we won’t be far away from success in all competitions. We will make sure Essex stay as one of the most successful Counties in the Country and achieve our goals.”
Derek Bowden, Essex Cricket CEO, said: “Having had discussions with Anthony following Chris’ departure, it was clear he had the knowledge and passion to lead this club forward. He was an integral part of the success over the past two years and brings a continuity that we were keen to implement.
“The players know how he works, we know how he works and ultimately he was the outstanding candidate to take the Club forward. Now it is important he brings in the right assistant head bowling coach alongside him, and we will be working hard to fill this position in the coming weeks.”
The news broke the same day that former Yorkshire coach Jason Gillespie was appointed as the new head coach of Sussex CCC. Essex and Anthony McGrath will now continue the search for an assistant head coach.