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Yorkshire players return for pre-season

— 3 December 2018

The Yorkshire players returned to pre-season with a bang, or a Blaze to be more precise, as they were put through a new workout class this week.

The Club’s players were invited along to club partners David Lloyd in Moortown, Leeds, to take part in a Blaze class. Blaze is a dynamic new HIIT workout which combines mixed martial arts, intense cardio and strength training all set to motivating dance music. All the while, players wear a heart rate monitor which tracks their progress in real-time, encouraging healthy competition.

The majority of the players have undergone screening this week, under the supervision of Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach Ian Fisher, and are set to complete the beep test early next week, a running aerobic fitness test designed to gauge maximum effort. Blaze will certainly help in that respect.

  • “That was really tough,” said new recruit Will Fraine. “The Blaze class just really finishes you off, it’s a bit of everything really. The treadmill, weights and mixed martial arts its perfect for us because we’re all looking to get to a high level of fitness for the season and it means we can maybe enjoy a Christmas pudding or two in a few weeks.”

    2018 Players’ Player of the Year, Ben Coad, openly admitted he had far from enjoyed the morning’s work but is all too aware of the benefits that a thorough pre-season can have on a group.

  • “That was really brutal to be honest but it’s really good to finish it and feel how good it is afterwards,” said the 24-year-old Ripon-based seamer. “You can see your stats on the board and see how hard everyone was working.

    “It was a really good session but I can’t say I’m looking forward to doing them every week…

    “There’s a lot of competing with yourself there, the coach or personal trainer is really good in that they force you in to the red zone and your heart-rate right up. As long as you can see how hard you’re working – you can obviously feel it – but when you decide there’s a bit more in the tank you have to give it. Using this so early in pre-season will only be good for summer when it comes around. Hopefully all the hard work will pay off and it will pay dividends when I’m taking plenty of wickets.”

  • And that new season is just 120 days away with Yorkshire set to face Leeds Bradford MCCU at Weetwood on the final day of March and pre-season tour to South Africa scheduled for earlier that month too.

    To say home-grown opening batsman Fraine, who recently re-joined the Club, is keen to get going would be an understatement. The 22-year-old, who signed his first professional deal with Nottinghamshire in May this year, having played for the county’s Second XI and featured for Durham MCCU, this week linked up with his White Rose team-mates for a full pre-season.

  • “I want to try and progress as a player and turn that potential that I think I have into big performances for the county."

    He added: “When you grow up and play cricket in Yorkshire it’s always a dream to put on that White Rose and go out and show what you can do. It’s been great and all the lads have welcomed me back and I’m back with lads I grew up playing with like Matt Fisher, Jared Warner and Harry Brook so it is literally home from home.

    “I want to try and progress as a player and turn that potential that I think I have into big performances for the county. I think as a young batter that’s what you want; the opportunity to show that you can do it at that level and just repay the coaches for putting their faith in you. At the same time I’ll be trying to put on a show for the supporters as well.”

    But how would he feel come the season opener against Nottinghamshire at Trent Bridge on April 5 should he be selected to represent his home county in a First-Class fixture for the first time?

    “It’ll be excitement, it’ll be nerves and an overwhelming sense to try and do well and not let people down,” he continued. “I want to do well for my team-mates, make them all proud and do my best.”

  • There has been plenty of talk of transition since Coad’s second-innings 4-56 against Worcestershire at New Road helped secure Yorkshire’s Division One status, and quite a few changes to the squad too.

    The likes of Liam Plunkett, Jack Brooks, Andrew Hodd, Alex Lees, Azeem Rafiq and James Wainman have also moved on to pastures new while the average age of the playing group has dropped to 25.12. Coad, though, believes the squad are more than capable of being competitive.

    He said: “Looking around I feel old at 24 and it’s a bit of a shock but it’s really good to see the younger lads all working so hard and I’ve grown up with pretty much all of them. It is a very different squad and it is a transition period but I think this set of lads will work incredibly hard and that can only bode well moving forwards.

    “We always want to win titles but you’ve got to be realistic and this is a very young group, there’s only a handful that have played two or more seasons. We might not win things this year, it’s hard to say that, but I think you can see in a couple of years’ time we can be right back up there challenging for titles. This happens in every team and in all forms of sport, you go through re-building periods, so as long as we can brave this storm we’ll come back stronger and there’s no doubting that.

    “You can see that group has plenty of quality and, as long as we train hard and the coaches nurture us properly, over time they will all be great assets for the club.”

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