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Warwickshire's players will report back to training tomorrow ready for a winter programme created to take their improving fitness to the next level.

Those Bears players not on various duty around the world will return to Edgbaston as County Champions and Bob Willis Trophy holders after their brilliant conclusion to the 2021 season.

A big factor in that dazzling double triumph was their ability to take games to the last session on the final day along with their fielding which stayed strong and reliable, with flashes of brilliance, right through to the end of the campaign.

Those qualities were underpinned by the fitness programmes designed and delivered by strength and conditioning coach Jack Murfin and head physio Gerhard Mostert. Now their challenge is to keep raising the fitness bar.

“The lads worked very hard last winter and, as a result, were stronger and more durable during the season. We were happy with the way the lads stood up to the demanding schedule which tested our fitness, skills and durability at times, especially during close games.”

Jack Murfin

“Now the objective is to keep building on those levels. The players are getting to where we need them to be in terms of their general fitness qualities and now we want to work on enhancing their speed and make them more athletic and dynamic to support their cricket performances.

“For their gym work and conditioning all the lads will have specific programmes tailored to each player, taking into account things like previous injuries and their specialist skills and role in the team. For example, the batters will do more short, explosive repeated sprints whilst the bowlers will do more tempo running based upon their run up speeds when they run in to bowl.

“We will also utilise the data we’ve started collecting from our GPS units last season to prepare players more specifically over the coming months for their role in the team.”

The Bears will also again benefit this winter from the expertise of former Olympic athlete Kelly Sotherton whose input in the winter pre-covid had such high value.

“Starting next week, the guys will be working with Kelly once a week at the Alexander Stadium,” said Murfin. “Her skills and knowledge will help the lads with their resilience, speed and technique which will all help drive our fitness levels forwards next season.”

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