Gloucestershire have appointed Steve Snell, their former wicketkeeper, as the club's first-ever performance director.

Richard Dawson, the club's long-standing head coach, was appointed as the ECB's elite performance pathway coach in March, with his assistant Ian Harvey promoted to interim head coach for the 2021 season. The club announced in early August that they would recruit a performance director before appointing a full-time replacement for Dawson, inviting applications from candidates involved in other sports and with backgrounds in talent identification and development. The club captaincy is also vacant after Chris Dent stood down late in the 2021 season.

Will Brown, Gloucestershire's chief executive, said that the calibre of candidates had been "incredibly strong" and revealed the involvement of Michael Klinger, the former club captain, and Mo Bobat, the ECB's performance director, in the recruitment process, as well as several senior figures at the club.

Snell, who made 73 first-team appearances for Gloucestershire between 2006 and 2010, has been on Somerset's coaching staff since 2014, most recently working as the head of their talent pathway. He has played a role in the development of several young players, including recent academy graduates like Tom Banton, Lewis Goldsworthy and Will Smeed.

Gloucestershire said that Snell would be "responsible for delivering success on the field by developing a vision and strategy that puts the team in a position to win titles" and reiterated their ambition to win a white-ball trophy within the next two years, as well as a first-ever County Championship by 2025. Gloucestershire will play in Division One next season, belatedly reaping the rewards of their 2019 promotion.

"I delighted to be joining a club with ambitious plans and an extremely talented playing squad and staff," Snell said. "We have an experienced core group of players which will be looking to build on the 2021 season. Will Brown and the board have made some exciting additions to the squad that I'm confident will help to push the club further forward, and that the supporters will continue to enjoy watching and cheering on.

"Gloucestershire is a club that's rich in tradition but is also an organisation that has exciting points of difference. It's imperative that we respect the tradition and culture of the club but we also develop our ability to innovate, prepare and develop a cricket team that can achieve sustained success on the field."

Brown said: "We want to win trophies and I'm confident that Steve, working alongside our talented playing and coaching squad, will help us to achieve sustainable success. This is an incredibly exciting time to be a part of Gloucestershire Cricket: we're a club on the up and we're looking forward to the challenge of playing in Division One of the County Championship next season."

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98