Marcus reporting back for his 26th winter training
Back in the autumn of 1992, when Right Said Fred and Whitney Houston topped the charts, beer cost £1.29 a pint and petrol was 40.3p per litre, a young Marcus Trescothick was just setting out on his professional cricketing career.
The 16 year old, who grew up in the north of the county, spent the last few weeks of the 1992 season based in Taunton where he shared a house with three other young players. During the autumn and winter he travelled to the Cooper Associates County Ground twice a week for nets that took place in the old Indoor School, which was situated under what is now the Somerset Pavilion.
Fast forward to 2017 and Marcus has just reported back for his 26th winter training for his beloved Somerset- still as fresh faced and enthusiastic as ever.
Looking back Marcus said: “I left school in 1992 and came down to Taunton for the last few weeks of the season. I shared a house in St Augustine Street with Jason Kerr, Andy Payne and Matt Robinson. As you can imagine with four lads all quite new to being away from home it was quite lively!
“It was great fun and I’ve got some great memories, including some regarding indoor fireworks going off and burning the carpets which didn’t go down too well!”
Marcus also talked about some of the senior players who were in the dressing room at that time.
“Chris Tavare was my first captain,” he said. Neil Mallender had played that summer for England, Graham Rose was in his prime and Andy Caddick was just breaking through. It didn’t feel very different back then and the only real difference was the preparation time. We didn’t report back until the start of April and we would start the season after three weeks of pre-season at the end of the month.
“Now we are in training eight weeks before Christmas, then we have a couple of weeks off and get back into it early in January so it’s more intense for a longer period. Back then through in the winter we used to meet up every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the old Indoor School, which is now under where the 1875 Club is.
“Pre-season was short and sharp and then it was into the games, whereas it’s a very different preparation now. There is so much more detail now and we are looking at a lot more 1% gains all the time to give you that extra advantage. Back then it never felt that detailed, although it might have been but I wasn’t aware of it.
“I signed my first contract during that winter of 1992 and it was worth £3000. Living in Taunton you didn’t have to spend much and I was travelling quite a bit and had meal allowances. Then in the winter I went home to live with my parents and didn’t spend much money then either. It was brilliant and I thought I was really well off.
“Of course times have changed quite dramatically and salaries have expanded just like the game itself. I guess that the introduction of T20 has been significant over the last few years and, for those players who have got involved, it’s definitely a good industry to be a part of. The boys who can make it to the highest level are earning good money.”
He may have been the senior player in the squad in 2017 but Marcus recently won the coveted Catch of the Year Award about which he said: “I saw that on social media and from my point of view it was never in doubt! It was good catch. However, there were some really good catches on there and I thought that Max was unlucky not to get the award but I’m happy to take it!”
Did he think that he was going to make it to the top when he started?
“I think you always hope you are going to succeed and go into the game wanting to play for Somerset and then for England. Then you want to be one of the greats of the game. I always had that drive to want to achieve it and it was a case of working hard. I had a good season in 1994 but then it was up and down for me until about 2000 when things really got better. I had six years on the staff but then went out to Australia in 1998-9 when I think I worked out my game and things really started to change for me.
“There is an evolving period in your career when you go from just playing the game to working out and understanding your game, which is what you have got to do.”
Does Marcus think that the 2018 season is going to be the one when Somerset lift the County Championship for the first time?
“There have been a few changes and the introduction of a few new things,” he said. “The squad hasn’t changed a great deal so hopefully we can kick on, start better than we have done, get into the mix and improve on what we are trying to do. Then, who knows? 2018 might just be our year!”
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