Thursday, March 9th, 2017

Mason: Benefits Of Pre-Season Trip To Abu Dhabi

Mason: Benefits Of Pre-Season Trip To Abu Dhabi

Assistant coach Matt Mason believes Worcestershire have reaped the benefits of previous visits pre-season trips to Abu Dhabi ahead of flying out later today from Heathrow for an 11 day training camp.

The 17 strong squad led by new skipper Joe Leach will be undertaking the County's fourth successive visit.

There is more accent this time on skill and fitness work than match action with only three days cricket – against the North in Dubai on March 15 and a two-day match versus Warwickshire on March 18 and 19 in Abu Dhabi.

Mason, who is also the County's bowling coach, said: "I think the last few years, having done that (gone to Abu Dhabi) is the reason we have tended to start the season a bit stronger than we have done in the past.

"The guys are really well prepared over there. We are going to do it a little bit differently this year with less games played but working more specifically on our skills and more focused preparation, a lot of fitness as well.

"When we get back from there, we have got some pre-season games organised so again it's good to change things a little bit to keep the lads fresh.

"Abu Dhabi is a good break for them and gets them into the sunshine but also allows us to put them under a bit of pressure, good challenging training.

"We have all the facilities we could possibly ask for. You know the weather is going to be good so we can get outside every day.

"Ross Dewar (strengthening and conditioning coach) can do some great stuff in the gym with the fitness and the facilities so it is a really good 10-11 day camp."

Mason says it is important to strike the correct formula in terms of the amount of bowling carried out by the County attack before the new campaign gets underway.

He said: "As a bowling coach, it is really important you get the balance right because you also need to get the overs in this time of year to make sure when the season starts they have done enough so they are not 'spiking' because that causes injuries and they have to become robust and resilient to bowling.

"But also they need to just keep practicing their skills. They are all still learning and they are not at the top of the tree yet so they've got lots of skill development stuff to do as well and we've got some young bowlers.

"It is important we use this pre-season period as not just building them up for their over-rate and their work-loads but also to develop their skills as well."