James Alway and Tom Osmond have just started working at the Cooper Associates County Ground as Strength & Conditioning interns, which is something of a dream job for the pair of them.
James, who hails from Wells, and Taunton lad Tom have both recently completed degree courses at the University of Exeter and Cardiff Met Univerisity respectively and will work under the supervision of Darren Veness the Club’s Head of Strength & Conditioning.
Tom grew up in a cricketing family and his Dad plays for Bishops Hull where he also played when he was at school. “My degree course at Cardiff Met was in Strength & Conditioning and rehabilitation,” he said. “I’m doing my Masters in the same subject next year so this is a perfect job for me and it couldn’t have worked out better. I’m involved with the delivery of the Strength & Conditioning programmes at the Club as well as monitoring the player’s fitness levels.”
How did it feel to be working so closely with players who are household names? “It was a bit daunting to start with,” he said. “I must admit that I struggled with how I was going to approach it at the start. Especially working with someone like Marcus Trescothick who is a hero of mine. It was quite difficult to know how to interact with the players but they are all really nice people and very easy to work with.”
Looking ahead Tom said: “I’m looking forward to developing and improving as a coach, which I’m sure will come during my time here in the role. I want to go onto become a Strength & Conditioning Coach when I leave here, and of course I’d love to stay in cricket but I don’t mind what sport I go into.”
James Alway grew up in Wells and has played both first team football and cricket for his local town sides. He is also a big Bristol City fan and goes to watch them as much as he can. The 23 year old said: “I have come out of the University of Exeter with all of the knowledge on the subject but very little practical experience, so this is an ideal situation for me and will give me plenty of opportunity.
“It’s great that Somerset have given me this chance to come and apply my knowledge in a professional environment. I’ll be working closely with Darren Veness so I’ll be picking up a lot from him. It felt very strange when I started and first walked into the gym and there was Marcus Trescothick. I watched him when he was in the 2005 Ashes just smashing boundaries for England and I grew up idolizing him and here I am now working with him and helping him in his fitness.
“Everybody has been brilliant with me and the atmosphere has been so warm and welcoming that already I’m feeling like part of the set up, which is a good feeling. To come out of University and go straight into a professional environment is a bit daunting to start with because you don’t know quite what to expect, but everybody has introduced themselves to me which is a sign of what the mentality of the Club is like.”