Tim Groenewald was briefly back at the Cooper Associates County Ground recently having spent most of the winter in South Africa.
Before setting off for Desert Springs the 32 year old bowler, who is also a hard hitting lower order batsman, said: “ It’s always good to be back in Taunton to catch up with the rest of the Somerset players and see just how hard everybody has been working over the winter. We had 11 weeks away with the family and everyone has had the chance to meet our new son, but now its time to come back home and get cracking with the business.
“I was training out in South Africa with Dale Benkenstein who is the Hampshire coach now and he took a few of their guys out there. They weren’t based too far from where I was, so I trained with them and also joined in with one of the First Class sides and got some overs under my belt on the grass.”
Talking about his 2015 Tim said: “Last season I think I got a feel of what Somerset is all about and what it is we are trying to do, but I still wasn’t quite where I wanted to be last year. However I will be looking to improve on what I did last year and contribute towards winning performances.”
Looking towards the new season he said: “We have signed a few players and I think that everyone gets excited ahead of the guys coming in and there really does seem to be a buzz about the place. The younger guys are now a year older and bit more experienced and we have got some great young players. It’s really exciting to see what they are going to do for us this year going forwards, and that’s what the buzz is about.”
Talking about the new signings Tim said: “To have signed Chris Rogers and Chris Gayle is great for the fans and Members. To be able to come down and watch someone like Chris Rogers as Captain of the Club walking out to bat will be great for the fans. He is a really high class batsman and to have someone like him batting in our top order with Tres and Hildy is brilliant. To have Chris Gayle coming back is magic. Everybody at the Club, in fact everybody in Taunton was buzzing about the news of his return and he will no doubt be hitting a few more bombs out of the ground this year.”
Having been in Taunton for the last two years how are Tim and his family finding the lifestyle? “Living in Taunton is really enjoyable,” he said. “When we arrived back we drove down and it felt like we were coming home. We have been made to feel very welcome by everyone, the fans, the Members and the Club is very friendly as well. It’s a lovely part of the country and a great place to be in. There’s not a lot nearby sporting-wise so there is a buzz about the place for cricket which is great for us.”
What can Somerset achieve in 2016? “I think we have got the squad to compete in all competitions,” he said. “If we go back to last season and look at the really good performances we produced at times in each competition, it shows that if we play to our potential we can dominate. We have just got to be more consistent and if we can play the way we know we can, there is no reason why we cant compete in all competitions.”
What does Tim hope for in 2016 for himself? “I just want to perform consistently and help the team to win,” he said. “I want to contribute with bat and ball, come in lower down the order and get a few sixes to win the game for us. The crowd are right behind us when we play at home, so I want to be part of a Somerset team that gives the fans something to cheer about. It’s a great place to play so we want to give the crowds some success in all formats.”