A world-class venue awaits Warwickshire's players on their pre-season stay at La Manga Club, says sport director Paul Farbrace.
The Bears will use the Spanish resort as a pre-season base for the first time next month.
The bowlers will travel out on March 5 followed by the rest of the squad five days later for a stay which will include a two-day internal practice match, a two-day friendly against Hampshire and two T20s against Hampshire.
There have been some good tweaks to the programme and it has been an excellent collaboration between the medical staff, strength & conditioning staff and coaches.Paul Farbrace
A world-renowned centre of excellence in terms of sporting facilities, La Manga Club has much to recommend it, according to Farbrace – not least its proximity to the UK which has allowed the Bears to take a hands-on approach to ensuring the facilities will be exactly what they need.
“It is world-class venue with brilliant facilities and so close that we have been able to make sure that what we are going into is just right,” he said. “Keith Cook has been over on a recce to check on all the logistics and is going back out next week and Gary Barwell has been to look at the pitches. Everything is excellent.
“I know the players can’t wait to get out there. After a long winter in the indoor nets and gym, there is some cabin fever. We have just got to strike the balance of them stepping things up outdoors without doing too much too soon.”
Following the injuries (albeit some totally unavoidable) which ravaged the first-team squad last season, much thought has gone into the players’ work this winter.
“At the end of last season we did a complete review and one of the conclusions was that the players were gym-fit but not so much match-fit for four-day cricket,” said Farbrace. “There have been some good tweaks to the programme and it has been an excellent collaboration between the medical staff, strength & conditioning staff and coaches.
“The bowlers were bowling earlier this winter and have also done some intensive sessions to replicate the workloads of a four-day match, so there is not a sudden spike in their workload when they get into the season.
“I am very pleased with our preparation. There is a never a guarantee that you will not pick up injuries – all you can do is try to minimise the chances of picking them up. I am confident we are doing that.
“You need a bit of luck too and last year we picked up one or two freak injuries, but if we stay relatively lightly-touched this time round I am very excited about the season because we have a strong squad all of whom have now played first-team cricket.”