Squad ‘in good shape’ af­ter pre-sea­son in La Manga

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - SPORT - by Mark Pennell

KENT’S co-or­di­na­tor of coach­ing Si­mon Wil­lis has hailed the club’s five-day pre-sea­son train­ing camp in Spain an un­mit­i­gated suc­cess.

The county squad trav­elled to the La Manga com­plex for a rig­or­ous stint of train­ing and prac­tice be­fore their first friendly against Not­ting­hamshire that starts in Can­ter­bury next Thurs­day, April 5.

Wil­lis said: “Had we been in Eng­land last week I doubt that we’d have got any work of any qual­ity done at all. As it was, the cli­mate in Spain al­lowed us to work out­side non-stop and that meant the guys fo­cused heav­ily on fit­ness, field­ing and drill work with the bat.

“We’ve started pre-sea­son a week ear­lier than last year just so we can ease the side back into it and do our best to avoid the lads pick­ing up a strain or mus­cle tear.

“Touch wood, the squad are look­ing in good shape and on our first day back in Can­ter­bury we put them through a whole day of fit­ness tests rather than just the usual twohour stint of bleep tests.

“There is a group of play­ers in the squad now with an ap­petite to set higher stan­dards of fit­ness and those fall­ing be­hind them will stand the risk of stand­ing out like a sore thumb.”

To help freshen up their train­ing drills, Kent in­vited Brom­ley Cricket Club skip­per and sports sci­en­tist James But­ter­fill on the trip.

Ex­plain­ing the move, Wil­lis said: “James was great as he brought some new ideas to our ses­sions, but the thing we liked most was that he knows cricket and could re­late var­i­ous fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties solely to cricket.

“The guys took to him pretty much straight away and we’ve come back full of ap­petite for the game.”

PO­LICE in Ja­maica are con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the mur­der of for­mer Kent bats­man Bob Woolmer.

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