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Blakey’s Blog

Wednesday 23rd February 2011

Fresh home from a two hour net session in the East Stand at Headingley, I feel it’s a good time to express my thoughts from the last week. Tonight was a full squad session with the Leeds/Bradford UCCE, which takes place every Tuesday.

Head Coach Andrew Lawson (Laws), someone you wouldn’t get on the wrong side of, made strict orders at the start of the evening that disciplines must improve as we edge ever close to the season. Bowlers bowling from 22 yards, not 19; batsmen batting like they would in a game etc etc. And to be fair to the guys, everyone made a conscious effort and trained very well tonight, which was good to see. Personally I felt very good. I feel I am improving with every bat I have, which I hope will continue to the start of the season. Bowling was positive as well which I must continue to work hard with as I look to become more consistent in that department. The challenge will be to adapt to the outdoor conditions quickly on wickets not as ferocious as the ones in the East Stand.

Last Friday’s 5.30am alarm tone was horrendous! Couldn’t have thought of much worse……oh, actually, the hours fitness that followed it! 4k on the rower, followed by 10k on the bike, and finished off with 20 minutes on the treadmill is not really that nice. But it’s for our own good right; just doesn’t feel like that when you’re running on a gradient of eight at level 18!

Anyway, this was followed up by a one to one with ‘Laws’ later on in the day where I batted and bowled for an hour each. Worked on length deliveries outside my off stump for the main part of the session, and finished off with some depth hitting towards the end. Bowled at one of the other lads after for an hour so it was an all round beneficial session.

It’s good to see the ground redevelopment is progressing nicely back down in Canterbury. The new floodlights look wonderful, and more importantly wind resistant. I gather the changing rooms are starting to take shape now, which is an exciting prospect. I’m sure dressing room attendant Richard ‘Dickie’ Cannon can’t wait to be amongst his new ‘home’. Visit Dickie’s website if you get the chance (downthelane.net), he’s a great man.

Woke up to watch the first of England’s World Cup matches on Tuesday, in the hope that a fellow UCCE team member of mine would be playing for the Netherlands; Bradley Kruger. Unfortunately he wasn’t but I do hope he gets his chance. I thought it was a good game – barring England’s fielding display. Fair play to the Dutch in running the England side so close, maybe they were unlucky to have not got more from the game? Ten Doeschate continues to show his quality and will be a key scalp for any team playing Essex this season.

To a more important issue, I’m not sure why Coach queries my taste in television shows. Loose Women is highly educational, and gives a great insight into the female mind!

Today’s a big day in the University week as the BUCS (British Universities and College Sport) competition takes place for all sports. Hockey’s my winter sport and we welcome Sheffield Hallam to the hallowed (astro) turf of Becketts Park. Here’s hoping to a successful day for Leeds Metropolitan sport.