It may still seem a long way off but Somerset fans can start to plan their summer holidays now that the First Class cricket fixtures have been released.

After a three day pre-season match against Cardiff UCCE at the Cooper Associates County Ground starting on March 22, the Cidermen commence their season in earnest with a home match against Warwickshire, another team who narrowly missed out on relegation, on Thursday April 6.

The following week Somerset travel to face newly promoted Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge before returning home to host Lancashire on April 20.

Somerset skipper Tom Abell said: “It’s always exciting when the fixtures come out, seeing who we are playing against in the first game and seeing the list of games makes everything a little more real.

“We were inconsistent last year, but there were times when we showed what we are capable of - but those games were few and far between.

“The end of the season and the winter has given us to time to reflect and reassess where we are and we will be looking to try to take the lessons from last summer. We were all very aware that we weren’t where we needed to be and we weren’t good enough, and we can learn from that and hopefully we will be far better prepared as a result for next summer.

“The last few seasons we have experienced different fortunes at different ends of the table so getting off to a good start is so key. We had a tough start last year and lost the first couple of games then all of as sudden you find yourself at the wrong end of the table and you get sucked into the relegation scrap which is certainly not where we want to be.

“We will be making a conscious effort to make sure we start well. We will be well prepared and our recruitment is such that we are going to be strong from the start."