Warwickshire CCC players and staff are back in pre-season mode and preparing for the 2020 campaign.
There’s plenty of smiles at Edgbaston as the Bears return to pre-season training.
Following six weeks of downtime, the squad are straight back into action through practical and theoretical sessions.
We’ll put together a program that’s going to build strength and identify areas that we need to work on from last season.Jim Troughton
The scheduling is fluid with skills sessions individually and collectively set throughout the week in the Indoor School.
Strength and conditioning is also a key part and is led by Jack Murfin.
The players have resumed using the impressive Alexandra Stadium facilities for fitness as well as the Edgbaston gym.
“The guys have effectively had five to six weeks off so they’re excited to get back in,” said Head Coach Jim Troughton.
“We’ve got a five-week block before Christmas where we’ll put together a program that’s going to build strength and identify areas that we need to work on from last season.
“Last season, we did some good things fitness-wise in terms of the improvements we made but there will be a big push in making the guys a little more robust on their feet.
“We had several injuries last year so we’ve changed a couple of things to get guys on their feet and test their endurance.”
The group will continue to work up until Christmas before a short break.
Once returned, the squad will build up their levels ahead of an exciting 2020 campaign.
The Bears will fly out to La Manga in March for further pre-season training and fixtures, adding the finishing touches to the winter.
The new campaign will follow in April with fixtures to be announced within the next four weeks.
“This is a great opportunity before Christmas to get a lot of strength behind you and identify areas you can improve on quickly with the red and white ball,” Troughton added.
“The guys are excited about doing that and with this group of fellas, there’s no real challenge to motivate them to hit balls or bowl.
“We’ll continue to identify any technical issues that they can work on with their coaches and in their groups as well.
“And then it’s about making sure we’re specific in what they do and how they get the best of the sessions we have with them.”
Not all members of the first team are present for various cricketing activity and for Troughton that won’t be an issue.
Dom Sibley continues to shine on England duty alongside Chris Woakes whilst Ian Bell, who was confirmed as the England U19s batting coach, prepares for their Caribbean tri-series.
Jeetan Patel has yet to feature for Wellington as he takes up the role as a spin bowling consultant for the current Twenty20 series against New Zealand.
Henry Brookes, Michael Burgess, George Furrer, Ryan Sidebottom are all overseas playing grade cricket in Australia.
Oliver Hannon-Dalby, Will Rhodes and Alex Thomson remain in Nepal as part of the MCC’s Legacy Tours series.
“Staying in contact is key,” concluded Troughton.
“Whether they’re playing cricket or coaching it’s making sure they’re clear on what they’re working on out there and when they come back they’re fit and healthy.
“The fit bit is the most important for us at the moment.
“Then having those guys come back for pre-season as an when they’re done we’ll be ready to welcome them back in the fold.”