Since I last blogged, the Club have made an excellent appointment in Jimmy Adams as Head Coach, and I for one am excited to work with him.
He has got the pedigree, having played at the top level. For me he is a good guy, and having met him a few times over the years, it is his character that makes people want to listen to him. I think the boys can’t wait for him to arrive now to see what he can offer, and to see what he wants us to do.
I had a brief chat with him after the media conference and it was obvious then that he was excited about getting started and working with the squad.
An awful lot has been happening off the pitch too with the Club announcing a profit, securing the loan with the City Council and sorting out the planning permission for Beckenham.
It’s amazing how things change around so quickly compared to twelve or eighteen months ago. Back then everything was doom and gloom, but now there is a bright future on the horizon.
Cricket had got to the point where changes needed to be made and clubs couldn’t operate the way they were. It’s made clubs evaluate the way they were, and now here at Kent we’ve got a fantastic ground with facilities for all year round income streams.
The Sainsbury’s Local deal is great for the club too and it’s all looking good for the long term.
Pre-season training carries on as usual and as of January 1st I have started hitting cricket balls again. We do two sessions a week as a group and I work with Simon Willis for another two. Mondays to Fridays are pretty full on now, but that’s a good run in going into the new season.
The days of guys disappearing at the end of September and turning up at the start of March are gone and that can only be a good thing in my opinion.
The Test series between Pakistan and England starts on Tuesday and I can see it being a close contest.
I think it could be quite tough over in Dubai as the wickets are a bit unknown. I would guess they are low turners, so Pakistan, with Saeed Ajmal in their side will be hard to beat.
We’ve got Swanny in our side though and aren’t number one in the world for nothing, and I’d expect us to win the series even though it could be quite tough.
I think the selectors will keep with the three seamers and Monty will have to wait his turn, unless they see something in the pitch.
Last week I sat and watched Freddie Flintoff’s documentary about depression in sport. For me, it was great to see someone prepared to get it out into the public eye. It shows that high profile sportsmen can go through exactly the same as anyone else.
Hopefully it will open the eyes to people within sport. It is a big area that has come to the fore in the last few years and it is an area that we all have to be aware of with youngsters coming into the game.
During the 2006/07 Ashes series, Marcus Trescothick had come out and then had to go back home, so we knew he had troubles. It was obvious that Freddie was low as he was a proud person and was captain and had seen his side been beaten.
At the time I wouldn’t have thought that Freddie was depressed, but looking back at it now he obviously was.
The eye opener for me has been that I have been close to Freddie, Steve Harmison and Neil Fairbrother and they have all suffered with depression. If you add Tres to that, there are four guys who have been affected by depression and it shows how close it can be to you at any time.
This week sees the official launch of my Benefit year with our lunch at the Mecure Hotel in Maidstone on Thursday.
It’s nice to finally get the first event underway as it has felt like a long time coming. We’ve done a lot of work getting to where we are now and fingers crossed we have a good start this week as it looks like we’ve got a decent turnout coming on Thursday.
We’ve got events coming up throughout the year and we will be coming to all parts of Kent, so hopefully there is something for everyone.
Please check out my Benefit site – www.geraintjonesbenefit2012.co.uk
Lastly, as I write this blog, news has come through that Dave Lee has sadly passed away.
Dave has been legendary throughout the county for his work within charity and the pantomimes, and for me I don’t think there could be a more fitting tribute than to have a statue of him erected outside the Marlowe Theatre in Canterbury.
He will be sadly missed and my condolences go to his family at this difficult time.