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Players are back in training with some hard yards ahead of them this winter with a view to being fit and firing ten months down the line

Warwickshire’s players are back in training with some hard yards ahead of them this winter with a view to being fit and firing ten months down the line at the business end of next season.

After a month off, the Bears have reported back and underwent immediate tests of speed, agility, power and endurance at Birmingham City University.

It’s my job to try and give the coach and captain a full squad to pick from at the business end of the next season and to be as physically fit as we can be.

Jack Murfin

From those results, lead strength and conditioning coach Jack Murfin has laid out a winter programme designed to build up their core fitness to keep them fit and available during the 2019 campaign.

“The players had a month off because it’s a very long season and that month was just for them to get the rest they needed, physically and mentally,” said Murfin.

“When they came back we started off with one or two gentle sessions because we didn’t want any niggles straight back in. Now it’s a case of stepping it up. The players have some hard work ahead of them but they’ve got a great attitude and really buy into the belief that hard yards done during the winter will stand them in good stead come next August and September.”

As well as plenty of gym work, the players will be reacquainting themselves with the track at Alexandra Stadium track. Last winter the planned use of Cannon Hill Park for running, just like generations of Warwickshire players before, proved problematic because rain limited the quality of work that could be done.

Yomping round a snowy track in January is never the highlight of a cricketer’s year. But Murfin aims to raise the squad’s fitness-levels again as he prepares for his second season as S & C at Edgbaston.

“We got the players to a certain level next winter and now the objective is to build on that,” he said. “It’s my job to try and give the coach and captain a full squad to pick from at the business end of the next season and to be as physically fit as we can be.”

“It’s been really enjoyable for me. My first season was a bit of an eye-opener into how long the season is and how hard it is for the players with all the travelling involved. They played a lot of cricket last season because there was so little rain, though it helped that, because they did so well in the championship, they won a lot of matches in three days.”

WATCH: Pre-season starts at Birmingham City University.