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Tim heading for Spain

Tim Rouse, who made his Specsavers County Championship debut for Somerset last summer, is off to Desert Springs in Spain later this week to join up with the rest of the young cricketers who are on the Tom Maynard Academy.

The 21-year-old signed a two-year contract at the end of last season and is spending his first winter as a full time professional.

Ahead of the trip Tim said: “It will be great to get the chance to go off to Spain where the weather will hopefully be a bit warmer and I will be working on grass. It’s always great to get outside as soon as you can.”

“It will also be great to meet up with some of the other young players who are involved, several of whom I know and of course to link up again with (former Somerset CCC Director of Cricket) Matt Maynard, who gave me my chance last season. I’m hugely grateful to him for that.”

During his time at Desert Springs the Somerset batsman will spend time working on his technical skills and his strength and conditioning as well as taking part in both individual and group activities.

The trip finishes with two special one-day matches between the Tom Maynard Academy XI and a Spanish national side at a newly constructed cricket ground at the venue.

Before jetting off Tim also talked about his first winter at the Cooper Associates County Ground as full-time cricketer.

“It’s great to be doing what I love for work,” he said. “Before Christmas we spent a lot of time in the gym and now we’re working on our skills and it really is intense. When you are at school or University you fit your cricket in around your studies but now it’s great to be able to focus solely on my cricket.

“It really is hard work and it’s very intense. The physical work is tough, but you can see the rewards and I know that I am fitter now than I ever have been before.

“It’s quite amazing what preparation can do to your mindset. I’ve done more batting and bowling work than ever before over the last few weeks and I really can see a difference. My mindset will be very different going into the start of this season because I have been here working all through this winter.

“I will feel a lot more confident than I have done before and I’m really looking forward to going outside and working in the marquee too.”

2017 was a big year for Tim and regarding his Championship debut against Yorkshire at Scarborough he said: “It was great to get some runs in the second innings and contribute to a good win. That game was probably the turning point of our season, so it was good to be a part of that and the next few games after that as well.”

By the time he returns from Desert Springs the rest of the Somerset squad will be working in the marquee at the Cooper Associates County Ground which he is looking forward to. “I worked in a marquee when I was at Cardiff University and we also made use of Glamorgan’s a few times,” he said. “They are interesting to work in and tough for the batters. One of the reasons for doing it is that it is very good prep for playing on difficult wickets, which is what we will get at the start of the season. It will also help the bowlers to be outside.”

What is Tim hoping for this summer?

“I want to score as many runs as possible and take wickets,” he said. “I’ve been working hard on my bowling and I would like to make an impact with both sides of my game. I’d like to play in the first team again and score my maiden first-class century and a few more after that as well. I know it will be a tough season, but I’m really looking forward to it.

“This is an exciting time to be at Somerset and hopefully I will have a good season. My aim is to do as well as I can in 2018 and earn myself an extension to my contract, which runs until the end of 2019. That would be my ideal season, but you never know and I will just have to see how it goes.

“My first aim is to solidify my place as a first team player and after that playing for England is my end goal. There are plenty of stepping stones between now and then though, so I have to keep on driving as hard as I can.”

Tim added: “You don’t get anywhere without hard work and all of the lads are striving to do well this season and win as many competitions as possible. It’s great to know you are part of a team that is striving to do well, as well as having personal goals.”

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