Over the last few weeks we’ve been catching up with our players who are currently overseas.
Today we see what Tim Groenewald has been getting up to during the close-season.
“I’ve been in South Africa, where my family are based and where I’m from,” he said when we spoke to him recently. “Up until Christmas and the New Year I was really concentrating on fitness and my strength work because I think it’s important to put an emphasis on that so you can set a solid base. Since the start of the year I’ve started bowling again and really getting back in to the cricket side of things at my old school. The head coach there used to play First Class cricket and I’ve been doing some work with him.”
Tim explained that the Somerset squad are certainly not left up to their own devices during the winter break. The players are in regular contact with Head of Strength & Condition Darren Veness and Lead Physiotherapist Jamie Thorpe in order to ensure that they are sticking to the schedules that they’ve been given. “I’ve been in contact with Jamie and Daz on a regular basis,” said Tim. “Daz gets us to send video footage through to him of what we’ve been doing so that he can check that our techniques are right and that we are up to scratch.”
“Jamie is also keen to keep on top of our work loads and how many overs we’re bowling, so there is pretty constant communication with those guys. When it comes to things like this nowadays, technology means that there’s nowhere to hide during the winter. When we get back to Taunton for all the fitness testing and things like that, you can say that you’ve been doing all your work over the winter but if you haven’t, the results will show. At the end of the day it’s in our best interests to make sure that we train hard and are ready for the season from a fitness point of view because it gives you the best chance of doing well. If you don’t put in the work, you don’t get the rewards. If you let yourself down over the winter with the fitness work then you open up yourself to the possibility of injury. I quite enjoy the fitness work. It keeps me busy and gets me out of the house!”
When can we expect Tim back at the Cooper Associates County Ground? “I’ll be back in Taunton in late February,” he said. “So I’ll miss the bulk of the cold weather! Not long after that we go to Desert Springs and then it’s on to Dubai with Lewis (Gregory) for the North v South series, so in terms of the cold stuff, I’ve managed to miss most of it! Seriously though I’m massively looking forward to catching up with the guys and training with everyone again. It’ll be good to get back to the dressing room banter that you miss over the winter.”
Tim is looking forward to linking up with Chris Rogers again in 2017. “What he brought to the changing room and the squad last year was massive,” he said. “It would have been sad to lose a character and personality like that from the dressing room after just one season. Just to have him back around with his knowledge of the game is a real bonus for us. I think it will be really good for Tom Abell as the new captain to have Chris around too.
“I think Tom will do really well in the role. He was always the natural long-term option and I think he’ll be brilliant at it. He’s got a very good cricket brain and has a good head on his shoulders. I’m sure he will thrive under the extra responsibility and all the guys want to do really well for him. He’ll do a great job and lead the team from the front.
“2016 was a season that we will never forget and if we can emulate the performances and form that we showed towards the end of last year then we are going to be there or thereabouts. As a team we gained a lot of confidence from last year and if we can build on that then 2017 could be another year to remember.”