Roelof raring to go
One of our new recruits for the 2016 season can’t wait to get back to the County Ground, but he has plenty of cricket to play before making his way to the West Country.
Roelof van der Merwe is returning to Somerset for next years campaign and won’t have any time to get rusty as he explained when we spoke to him this week. “Although I’ve had a little time off recently I’ve been working on my skills and so on,” he said. “But nothing too intense because in January I’m going to Dubai for about a month and then I’m off to India before joining Somerset at the end of March. I’m really looking forward to joining back up with everyone at Taunton. With the family coming over I think Somerset is the perfect place to raise a family.”
He is particularly looking forward to catching up with Somerset Head of Strength & Conditioning Darren Veness. “The last time I was there for a short stint but he made his intentions clear and made me suffer for about a month!” he said. “It was good though. He’s got a good work ethic and I enjoy the way he does things. Tres (Marcus Trescothick), Trego and a few of the guys are still there from when I played last time which will also make it easier to fit in.”
Roelof has worked with Somerset Director of Cricket Matt Maynard before at St Lucia Zouks and is looking forward to teaming up with him again in 2016. “Matt gives freedom to the players,” he said. “I like the way he works and I enjoy the way he does things.”
Roelof first played for Somerset in one-day cricket back in 2011 and since then he feels that he has developed as a player. “I think I’m a bit more of a batter now and not just a slogger,” he said. “I’ve developed my batting a lot and have changed from being an aggressive lower order batter to a solid middle order batter. I’ve been enjoying my cricket over the last few years and hopefully I can keep on enjoying it at Somerset.”
One of the things that made the 30 year old a cult favourite amongst the Somerset fans was his athleticism in the field. Is that still a major part of his game? “I still try and give it my all,” he said. “With all the bumps you get over the years you tend to be a bit more cautious, but at the end of the day when you get in to the game you forget about those things and the adrenaline takes over.”