Lancashire will begin assessing the applications for their new first-team coach this week and are hopeful of having the position filled in time for the successful candidate to play a significant role in pre-season training.

The club have received a number of applications, believed to include former Lancashire players Phil DeFreitas, John Abrahams, Warren Hegg, John Stanworth and second-team coach Gary Yates. Also in the running is the former Surrey boss Alan Butcher and David Houghton who has previously coached Derbyshire.

The former Lancashire stars have an advantage of having played or worked alongside Mike Watkinson, who is now director of cricket, and also have a strong knowledge of the club. The job application stated: "Candidates need to have excellent knowledge and understanding of county cricket, and ideally an understanding of the structure and requirements of cricket in Lancashire."

DeFreitas played for Lancashire between 1989 and 1993 before moving to Derbyshire and finally back to Leicestershire were he began his career. Hegg has been working at Old Trafford since retiring after a 19-year career, while Stanworth has been in charge of the Academy which has produced a number of promising players who are now in the first-team.

Lancashire are not putting a time-frame on selecting the new coach, who will fill the role vacated by Watkinson's move upstairs. However, with a pre-season tour of Abu Dhabi and Sharjah for in March the club will want the coach to be settled before the team depart.

It has been a winter of transition for Lancashire, who along with searching for a new coach have also appointed Glen Chapple as captain after Stuart Law was released. Whoever joins Chapple in charge of the first team will be expected to bring some silverware back to Old Trafford after a barren decade where Lancashire have struggled to live up to their billing as a premier county.