A familiar face has been back at the Cooper Associates County Ground.
Alfonso Thomas, who left the Club at the end of the 2015 season, was back on familiar territory this week. We caught up with him and asked him what he had been up to since the end of the last campaign. “There’s been plenty of dog walking and gardening,” he said. “Although I’m sure my wife would disagree with that! I’ve also been out to South Africa to work as a bowling coach with the title winning Titans. I was supposed to be out there for three weeks but ended up staying for the whole tournament which means I must have been doing something right.”
Alfonso, who joined the Club in 2008 and took over 550 wickets, is currently in the process of trying to give something back to the sport that he loves. “I’ve just started setting up my own cricket school,” he said. “It’s really good to be able to give something back. I think it would be a waste to sit behind a desk and not use all the experience and knowledge that I’ve built up over the years. I’ve got my first camp starting in February half term at the Centre of Excellence and if it all goes well we’ll hopefully have another one at Easter. I still really want to be involved in the game. I’ve also been doing some things with the County age groups and doing some stuff at Millfield. I just want to be able to give something back to the game that has offered me so much.”
One thing that the 38 year old won’t be too sorry to see the back of is pre-season fitness testing, as he explained. “I’ve got to admit that it’s really nice not being dragged to the park by Daz (Darren Veness, Somerset CCC Head of Strength & Conditioning) to run through the mud in football boots in the freezing weather! Having said that, I’m sure that by the time April comes around I’m going to miss being involved in that first game.”
How would he sum up his time at Somerset? “It was a crazy few years,” he said. “There’s been times when I’ve been sitting at home thinking about it and the eight years have just flown by. Obviously it’s come to an end now but I had a fantastic time here and the only regret I have is that we didn’t win any silverware. Hopefully the current group of boys can put that right. I’ve stayed in touch with all of the lads and whenever I turn the TV on at the moment I see Marcus on Sky Sports! He’s always on there! In fact I might phone them up and cancel my subscription!”
Alfonso also had a message for the Somerset supporters: “Thank you all so much. It’s been eight wonderful years and the support has always been fantastic. I’m sure they’ll get behind the lads again this year and hopefully help them bring home that elusive Championship trophy.”
Places on Alfonso’s Cricket School are filling up quickly. For more information please click here