Walker set to accept Essex player-coach role

Matt Walker is set to extend his career with Essex by moving into a coaching role with the county. With current batting coach Graham Gooch due to be offered a full-time role within the England set-up, Walker has been offered the opportunity to take over the position at Chelmsford.

Now 37, he will continue to be registered as a player for the 2012 season allowing Essex to call on his experience if they feel necessary, particularly in the early weeks of the season when Owais Shah, Ryan ten Doeschate and possibly Ravi Bopara could all be away playing in the Indian Premier League.

Released by Kent after 16 years of service, the left-handed batsman moved to Essex in 2009 where he has proved a highly-popular figure with management, players and supporters alike.

Although he played in the first ten County Championship matches of this season, scoring 529 runs at an average of 29.38, and was also a regular in limited-overs matches, Walker has missed the latter part of the season with the county preferring to give extended chances to their crop of younger talents.

Meanwhile, Essex have been linked with a move to bring Nottinghamshire seamer Charlie Shreck to the Ford County Ground next summer, although the 33-year-old is understood also to be a target for Kent.

Shreck had joined them on a loan deal at the start of the season and playing in the opening Championship match of the season, ironically against Essex at Chelmsford, before being immediately recalled to Trent Bridge with whom he has spent the rest of this summer playing nine further Championship matches.

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