SILVERWARE will be Essex’s main aim in 2014 according to head coach Paul Grayson.
In each of the three domestic competitions Essex fell just short in all finishing third in Division Two of the County Championship, losing on T20 finals day and just missing out on a semi-final berth in the 40 over cup.
Looking ahead to the 2014 season, Grayson said getting the club’s first trophy since winning the Sunday Pro40 Division Two in 2008 is a priority.
Grayson said: “We had a pretty good year last season, performing well in all the competitions.
“Despite this we weren’t able to win any trophies, although we came close, and in 2014 that’s got to be our aim.
“The boys are raring to go and have been in training since November doing fitness stuff and there’s been about ten playing abroad over the winter, so it’s looking good.”
An early season plus for Essex this year will be England captain Alastair Cook making appearances early on as he looks to find form ahead of the summer’s international calendar.
Grayson said he has not spoken much to Cook since his return from a terrible Ashes tour.
But while they will have to take guidance from the ECB on what games he plays, it is thought the 29-year-old will feature in the first few games.
“He’ll be getting a good break from cricket which is something he really needs,” Grayson said.
“I’m sure he’ll be back for our pre-season game at Fenners in Cambridge and then I’m sure he’ll feature in our first County Championship match against Derbyshire on April 13.
“He needs to find some form ahead of the summer just like a lot of the England players.
“It has been tough for him but we know he is a strong character and he will bounce back.”