Giles 'considered not coming back'
Ashley Giles admitted he considered his future as a coach before accepting the job of Lancashire's new cricket director and head coach on a three-year contract. Giles, whose last assignment as England's limited overs coach ended in late March, takes over a county who have suffered two Championship relegations in the last three years.
Giles was unveiled at a press conference at Old Trafford flanked by chairman Michael Cairns, the decision maker in this period of change for the county, chief executive Daniel Gidney and Glen Chapple, who will be his right-hand man.
Chapple put his own name forward to take on the coach's role, but instead he will work under Giles and potentially continue his playing career as a seam bowler beyond his 41st birthday in January. Chapple spent the majority of the summer in charge of first-team affairs both as a coach and captain following the departure of Peter Moores to England in April. Mike Watkinson vacated his role as cricket director earlier this week.
With Chapple concentrating on his coaching commitments and only playing when needed, that means one of Giles's first tasks is to appoint a new captain. Current vice captain and opening batsman Paul Horton is the early frontrunner.
"I considered not coming back into coaching, I wouldn't be ashamed of admitting that," Giles said, having made his Test debut at Old Trafford in 1998. "But I love working with teams. It is a really good place to be.
"I've been lucky that the timing has been right. Being out of the game for a few months was healthy. I spent time with the family reflecting on my experiences with England. I was away in India doing some media stuff, and that experience reinforced my desire to get back into coaching. It's not that I didn't enjoy that experience, but I love improving players.
"My conversation with Michael Cairns and Daniel Gidney happened over the last week or so, and as soon as I started talking to them, to be talking to a club with the history and size of this, it was a fantastic opportunity.
"It's clearly been a difficult six months since Pete left. Chappie has done a fantastic job to do three roles this summer. It gives us a platform to build from. In my discussions, it's been very much not about a quick fix. I'm sure everyone wants to hear me say we'll be straight back in Division One, and I hope we are. Most importantly, it's about building something that is sustainable and is going to be successful over a long period, and that does take time."
Giles also admitted that "I'm over it" with regards to his two years in charge of England's limited overs teams: "I'm not stupid enough to think we always get what we want and there's always a fairytale ending.
"There will be a lot I've learnt from England, about managing players in particular. Managing players at that level is different to managing players at county level. Of course the whole media attention and bubble surrounding international cricket is slightly different, and you get slightly less time to do things you might want to do. It's also a great environment, and there are a lot of good people there. But it didn't work out."
A decision will be taken much closer to the start of next season as to how much, if any, cricket Chapple plays. "The position I've been offered here, I see as a very challenging one and probably just the right thing for me at this stage." Chapple said. His official title has yet to be confirmed. "The option of carrying on playing means I don't just have to say 'that's it'. As it stands, I'm very happy."