HEAD coach Nick Denning believes the Southern Vipers’ new-look coaching structure can only help their campaign in this season’s Kia Super League.

The Vipers reached the final last year before losing to Western Storm. After the game England legend Charlotte Edwards announced her retirement.

Edwards was appointed as Hampshire’s Director of Women’s Cricket earlier this year and will be assisting Denning when the third edition of the KSL starts on July 22 with Vipers travelling to Guildford to play Surrey Stars.

Denning said: “I actually work under Charlotte so she’s my boss for the rest of the year and during the tournament I’m her boss – it’s quite amusing when you think about it!

“But I think it’s a really good relationship and dynamic. With our bowling coach James Schofield as well, we have a really good team and obviously with someone like Lottie, with all her experience and know-how, she is a brilliant role model, especially for the youngsters. If they don’t listen to me they will certainly listen to her!”

Vipers’ squad has been strengthened by the addition of England opener Tammy Beaumont and New Zealander Amelia Kerr, who gives them an extra spin-bowling option as well as her obvious batting talents.

“We have lost Linsey Smith from last year’s squad so in terms of bowling Amelia is a like for like replacement,” said Denning. “I think spin is going to be so important in the competition this year, especially with the dry weather around at the moment.”

Denning is waiting to discover when his England players Beaumont and Danni Wyatt will link up with the squad, but he is not expecting them to play in the warm-up game against Surrey Stars at New Malden on Thursday after a hectic tri-series against South Africa and New Zealand.

But his big guns will all be back three days later for what promises to be a cracking opener against Stars.

“People might look and say ourselves and Surrey are the favourites but I think there is much more of a spread of talent this year across the six teams this year,” added Denning.

“And we all know that T20 is a game of momentum.

“Any of the teams are capable of getting on a roll.

“In the previous two years if you started poorly and lost a game you were out of contention for Finals Day almost straight away but with ten matches you can afford to lose a couple of games and still be in with a shout.”