Spanish training camp a big success, says Maynard

BadgeSomerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard has praised his squad for the professionalism and work ethic shown during their eight-day training camp in Spain.

Maynard said the camp, which ended yesterday (Thursday), also helped the team agree on a clear set of values about what it means to play and be involved as a member of staff at Somerset.

He believes this has helped them lay the foundations on which to build a team and a style of play which will be around for a very long time.

The Somerset players caught an early flight home from Spain yesterday morning (Thursday) after the camp, which took place at Desert Springs in south-east Spain.

Reflecting on the eight days away, Maynard said: “The time away has been a great success from my point of view and I have thoroughly enjoyed it. It’s been enlightening to see how the players work together in the nets as a group and to see their work ethic without too much prompting from me.”

Matt went on: “I have allowed them to get on with it and the way that they have gone about it and their professionalism has been very encouraging. I have put the responsibility onto their shoulders and they have all done very well. The bowlers have been fantastic and they are now not as flat as they would have been if they had been at home and they have kept up the intensity all week. They were all pretty tired at the end of every session which is what you want at this time of year.

“This has been a transition from indoors to outdoors and we have upped their workloads, and it has been really productive. I know that the batsmen enjoyed being out here as well.”

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What has gone on off the field has also been hugely important as Matt explained: “We have nailed the key values whilst we have been out here which I think is absolutely essential and we have laid the foundations on which to build a team and a style of play. This was one of the important things we had to do while we were out here and it took a while, but we now have some very strong values about what it means to play and be involved as a member of the staff at Somerset.

“For me this was probably the biggest part of our 8 days away and now we have nailed down what it is that is unique to this team. It has been brilliant and what we now have is something that is Somerset and something we can use to develop team tactics plus our philosophy aligned to our values.

“I am delighted that the players have come up with something that is very much Somerset, very much West Country and these are the values that they came up with themselves. It went brilliantly for me. It has also been great watching the players work because they showed the work ethic that was instilled in Somerset by Andy Hurry and Brian Rose and it’s in a lot of the players. We have brought it all together and now we have got a set of values that are going to be there for a long, long time.

“Cricketing wise it has been a transition time but for me seeing Jamie Overton come running in for the duration, seeing Tim Groenewald working at his craft and the way that Lewis Gregory goes about his cricket has impressed me and I haven’t had much contact with these guys during the winter because they have been involved with England or playing abroad. Watching everybody working outside has given me a much better idea of the squad, how they operate and the characters in it, so to me it has been invaluable.”

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Summing up Matt said: “Hopefully the things we have done will make sure that if we have a good start this summer then we will continue with it and if we don’t then we can turn it around quickly. What we have done out in Spain has covered so many bases and I am delighted with the way that things have gone.”

The programme at Desert Springs was a mixture of training and group activities. Activities included a bike ride and a golf tournament as well as strength and conditioning sessions.

The training sessions comprised of nets with the bowlers getting into their stride out on the grass and bowling at the batters.

Speaking during the camp, Jamie Thorpe the Somerset physiotherapist said: “The boys have adapted really well to being outside and working on the grass, which of course is very different to working inside which most of them have been doing this winter.”

Regarding the players who are undergoing rehab, Jamie said: “Thommo (Alfonso Thomas) has been bowling indoors, so now he has put his bowling boots on with the spikes and started to get used to working outdoors on the grass again, He has responded very well running in on the grass and we are very pleased with him.

“Craig (Overton) has not had that much time off but he has got his strength up now and is doing really well bowling outside.

“We are working with Tom Abell everyday now that he is out here full time with us and he is coming on in leaps and bounds with the time we are giving to him.

“Jack Leach is doing really well and is joining in with everything and he has responded really well. It looks like the work that we have done with him has been a success.”

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