Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Rhodes Reveals Benefits Of Playing Abroad, 2016 Targets And Major Influences

Rhodes Reveals Benefits Of Playing Abroad, 2016 Targets And Major Influences

George Rhodes returned to action Down Under in style last weekend with a century for North Canberra Gungahlin which followed on from a successful first half of the winter.

Here he reveals the benefits of playing abroad, how last summer mapped out with Worcestershire, the influence of Kevin Sharp and Damian D'Oliveira, and his ambitions for 2016 in part two of our Question and Answer feature with the all-rounder.


QUESTION: As a 'Pom' playing Down Under, do you get much stick from the opposition? Joe Clarke said he got quite a bit last winter

GEORGE RHODES: "Well it’s no surprise Clarkey got a little stick! There has been times where some lads try to get stuck into me.

"But its part of the competitive nature of the game which I love. If anything it switches me on more! "

QUESTION: How beneficial is it to keep ticking over playing cricket for the winter rather than the day to day Strengthening and Conditioning work with Ross Dewar – and how much of that work do you still have to do when away from New Road?

GEORGE RHODES: "The strengthening and conditioning part of the winter is still heavily involved whilst being away. My priority is being in the best shape I can be for the start of the season for Worcestershire, which is what all the lads are currently doing back in England.

"Ross has given all of the lads out here detailed strength and conditioning programmes to crack on with around cricket and we communicate frequently with Ross and Ben Davies (first team physio) with regular updates.

"It's great also to be able to have match practice during the winter, in different conditions, against types of players. This sort of experience is invaluable as a young player. "

QUESTION: You earned a new contract in mid season up until the end of 2016. How did you think things went for you in the Second Eleven last summer with bat and ball?

GEORGE RHODES: "After having a good start to the season, overall I wasn’t satisfied with my whole season with bat and ball for the Seconds.

"Although I got a few hundreds throughout the year, I would have liked to have been a little more consistent. Hopefully i can have another good start this year and carry on some form for longer. "

QUESTION: Are you looking to push for a first team spot next summer. Do you take encouragement from Worcs CCC always willing to give youngsters a chance if they produce the goods. How much of a help is Kevin Sharp to you with the Seconds?

GEORGE RHODES: "I feel as a player I have improved a lot in 2015 and hopefully I will be given an early opportunity to prove to the coaches I can perform at first team level.

"There are plenty of good young cricketers in the Worcestershire squad who are improving year on year. It was great to see Heppers (Alex Hepburn) get an opportunity towards the end of last year.

"It shows that we are all hungry for opportunities and a chance to impress.

"Sharpy (Kevin Sharp) is a great coach and has helped me tremendously not only as a cricketer but as a person.

"He’s a great person to talk to about the game and is very passionate about the club and progressing youngsters."

QUESTION: Who were your cricketing heroes growing up and players who inspire you?

GEORGE RHODES: "Although I never saw him play Damian D'Oliveira inspired me the most growing up.

"He influenced my progression through the Academy, was a great honest coach and an even better person who was loved by everyone at Worcestershire CCC."