The 2019 season may still seem a long way off but Gloucestershire’s performance squads are back in training.
England World Cup winner Fran Wilson was among the coaches as the majority of the 29 county, development and district age groups kicked their sessions off on Sunday January 6.
This year’s county programme has been enhanced by the first ever strength and conditioning (S & C) support for Gloucestershire’s junior players. The S & C monitoring and training is being run by Gloucestershire pathway S & C coach Ollie Hunt and is available for all boys’ county squads, the Under 17 Girls and Senior Women.
Head of talent pathway Tim Hancock said: “It is always exciting to get the squads back in for the first weekend of the winter training programme and start planning in earnest for summer.
“We are delighted to be able to offer S &C support for the first time. In many ways this has been the missing link in our programme and will help our players’ physical development keep pace with the other facets of the game.
“I have spoken to a number of our coaches following their first sessions and the overwhelming feeling is one of optimism and anticipation for the season ahead.”
For most squads the 2019 pre-season programme is made up of 12 two-hour sessions held at sports centres across the county. There have been a number of changes to the performance coaching teams this winter including John Tegg and Jamie Tapper taking over the Under 13 county boys. At district level Frocester CC’s Ross Martin will run Stroud & South Glos U12s while there are wholesale changes within the Bristol district. Elliott Robertshaw (U11), Andy Steer (U12) and Chris Shine (U13) will all coach squads for the first time while John Cropper and James Cottrell will assist with the U14 and 15 Development squads respectively.
On the women and girls’ side Jamie Diamond is the new Glos Women’s & Under 17s coach. Simon Porter will lead the Under 13s with Andy Wheeler and Glos Women’s player Lucy Gladdy taking the U13 Development squad. Daisy Hewitt and Sam Fitzmaurice will both help coach the Under 11 girls while Rosie Tregear is in charge of the U15 Development squad.
Gloucestershire women and girls officer Lisa Pagett said: “It was great to start working with our age group squads again. Every year we seem to have greater strength in depth and I am looking forward to seeing our young players develop over the next 12 weeks in preparation for the summer.
“We are really pleased to be able to further professionalise our programme by offering S & C to the Under 17s and Senior Women.”