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Joel impressed by what he has seen

The Somerset squad have been back in training at the Cooper Associates County Ground for two weeks now.

We sat down with Head of Strength & Conditioning, Joel Tratt today to find out how the players are settling back in.

“It’s been going very well,” he said. “It’s great to have all the boys around at this time of year. Usually a few of them are away for the winter on tour or playing franchise or grade cricket but obviously things are a bit different this year. It’s been so good to be able to have contact time with every single member of the squad. To have everyone here is a bit of a rarity and it’s meant that we’ve been really busy, but everyone is feeling extremely grateful that we have the opportunity to train at the moment. We consider ourselves to be very fortunate to be able to do what we’re doing, and all of the lads have been brilliant so far.

“Normally at this time of year we are having to contact quite a few players digitally as they are all over the world, but from a coaches point of view it’s great to be able to see them in the flesh and see how they’re moving and how their running etc. From my point of view that’s invaluable, but at the end of the day these guys are cricketers and getting cricket into their bodies is the number one priority. Obviously they’re disappointed that they can’t have that right now and I’m sure every single one of them is craving it, but this time together will enable us to iron out any little niggles and it’s an opportunity to spend time together that many of them won’t have had previously.

“We’re looking at this from a positive perspective and when the time comes to actually play some cricket, this will help to ensure that they will be in the perfect position to do so when the opportunity arises.

“As things stand, we are preparing for the season to start at the end of March and until we are told otherwise we will be cracking on with winter training and it will be business as usual from an S&C point of view.”

Is Joel happy with what he has seen from the players so far?

“They’ve been brilliant,” he said. “Everyone is enjoying a mixture of skills and physical work at the moment and everyone is ticking every box. The energy and attitude from everyone has been fantastic. The lads feel a huge amount of gratitude that they are able to train at the moment and their work ethic in the last two weeks has been exceptional, as it always is.

“The players have been following the government guidelines since last summer, so all the protocols that are in place have become second nature to them. The cleaning down, wearing masks and all those things have now become the norm.

“The gym is still based in the Colin Atkinson Pavilion and that gives us the benefit of having more space, so abiding by social distancing is a lot easier. It does mean that we have to do a bit more work from a planning perspective because you can’t have more than one person on the equipment at the same time but the lads all understand why these things are in place and they respect it brilliantly.”

Joel also outlined his plans for the next few weeks.

“We’ll be looking to continue what we’re doing now,” he explained. “From my point of view, it’s all about getting them faster, fitter and quicker. They also have individual programmes from a skills point of view. We will be making sure that we’re pushing each player in the right direction and making them better cricketers every day.

“We have a way of doing things here when it comes to how we go about our business and we won’t be steering away from that whilst making sure that we are sticking to the restrictions that are in place.”

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