With my Benefit Year having drawn to a close, the last engagement on the calendar saw a group of us go out to Portugal for a golfing trip.

We had a great time out there and I roomed with Martin Saggers, which is an interesting experience with him putting on all his bright golfing attire on in the morning!

I was a virgin when it came to a lads’ golfing holiday and as a first one I loved it, so negotiations are under way now with the committee (wife) to go away on another one.

The food was tremendous out there and we had four fantastic days, so I would recommend it to anyone.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the support I’ve had all year for the Benefit. It was good to see so many people come along and support me. I hope we’ve put on some good events that people have enjoyed.

We then managed to squeeze in a family holiday to Egypt, and it was the first time we’ve really managed to be away since Rhys was about eighteen months old.

That was a Lord’s Taverners trip to Dubai and I had to go off and play cricket a lot, so it was nice to just go away and relax. It was long overdue and the kids got some great time by the pool and Jen got to spend some time in the sunshine.

We didn’t do the whole tourist thing as we based ourselves at the hotel and wanted to give the boys time to have fun. We’d like to go back when the boys are older, but for now it was just the perfect break.

One of the most amazing things out there was this guy that could fold your towels into almost anything and as you will see from this picture, a snake was no trouble at all!

This season I will be using the excellent kit provided by Gray Nicholls after my deal with Puma came to an end. It was a shame to leave them as I have been with them for a long time, but these things happen and when I rang Gray Nicholls they were keen to have me on board.

I had a few other companies interested in supplying my kit, but the main thing for me was to make sure the keeping equipment was up to scratch and I knew that the Gray Nicholls stuff was great having spoken to other keepers on the circuit.

I went down to their factory at Robertsbridge and came back with a full car. The biggest thing the guys are going to have to get used to is me having very little colour on my kit.

After years of bright colours with Puma, I have gone for the traditional white as much as I possibly can.

The keeping gloves feel slightly different to what I am used to, but most importantly they feel nice to catch in. The bat I am using with the new gloves makes me feel like I have got a lot more control with the bat, so hopefully the new solid grip will help me score lots of runs.

Now we are just a matter of weeks away from the new season, it’s nice to be back stepping up the training. I’ve been and looked at the new greenhouse. We will be able to get a couple of nets under there and with that, the nets at Polo Farm and in the indoor school, we will have some good options.

The winter has been pretty lonely with most of the boys having been away, so it’s always nice at this time of year when everyone joins up ready for pre-season. Most of the time it has been just a few of us for sessions.

Charlie Shreck and I had a good week together and before that it was just Adam Ball and myself.

Those first few days of being back are always good fun as you get to have a good chat with everyone and see how their winter has gone.

Apart from all the dreaded fitness tests and yoyo tests, everyone has a buzz about pre-season and can’t wait to get going now.

This year will be fresh and exciting with Treddy taking over as skipper. It will be different, but he has got some definite ideas about what he wants us to do as a squad. He’s witnessed some of the best partnerships at England level in terms of Flower and Strauss and now Flower and Cook, so he will have a wealth of knowledge to draw from.

I think he will do a great job and I for one am looking forward to working with him.

Till the next time.


Geraint writes a regular blog for Kent Sports News