Walker excited about new season
Walker excited about new season

With the new season almost upon us, Head Coach Matt Walker is excited about what could lie ahead for Kent Cricket.

The start of the domestic cricket season is now just two weeks away and Kent’s first warm up game sees them face Middlesex at Merchant Taylors School.

Coach Matt Walker has been told KSN that he can’t wait for April 8th and the first Championship game in Northampton.

“This is my favourite time of year!” the Kent coach admitted. “We’re all full of anticipation, excitement, nervous energy getting ready for the start of the year. The guys are back and raring to go.”

“Obviously, it’s been a different build up this year – that said, I don’t think I’ve ever known the first week of pre-season with the ground being so wet after the winter and recent weather we’ve had.”

“It all made it very difficult to practice outside – I’ve never seen the ground so wet. The poor ground staff have battled very hard to get it in any sort of condition – we’ve adapted, we’ve had to!”

“We’ve been able to get the batters some side arm work in the nets and the bowlers have had to do some bowl throughs. They actually went to Taylor School early to use their marquee – Middlesex kindly allowed us to rent it from them for a couple of days so that the bowlers could get some full run up stuff done on grass and that’s been really important.” 

“It’s been a very different winter for some of the players as some who would normally go overseas haven’t but in some ways, they’ve really enjoyed that.”

“Sometimes a change is helpful and for some the fact that they’ve spent the time here and really worked at their games and get some specific one on one work across all areas – they’ve enjoyed that; it’s been a nice change for them because if you do go away, you’re primarily playing rather than training but don’t get that attention to detail from a coach like you would at home in England with your county.”

“We have had some lads who were still able to get away – Jordan Cox has been to Australia as he’s a dual passport holder and has been to see his family which has been really beneficial to him as a young player; Fred Klassen has been back to New Zealand; Nathan Gilchrist managed to get home to South Africa to see his family.”

“A few of them did get overseas – as well as the international players of course – and they’ve had the opportunity to keep playing with the sun on their backs outside. On the whole I think everyone has wintered well and you can see that where people are at already with their respective games.”

“This year has been different as I think that the players really have embraced their respective programmes – really got the bit between their teeth about improving and improving on real specific areas and that has been really good.”

“We’ve seen a real step up in a lot of the players which is great, and you hope that it pays off. You hope that you see the rewards when it counts which is when we start on April 8th at Northampton.”

“We’ve got three pre-season games before and now after working hard, it’s down to what they do when they cross the white line – trusting the work they’ve out in and go and deliver it.”

“So, on the whole, very pleased with the way that the winter’s gone. We’ve learned a few lessons, and I think that the players have really enjoyed it! The hope now is that we get some good weather for the three games before we lead into Northampton.”

“I think the guys are ready – you just sense that they all look in a very good place and they’ve just got believe that they are ready come April 8th!”

Picture supplied by Max Flego Photography.