Jimmy Adams reflects on pre-season training in Antigua

Thursday 22nd March 2012

Jimmy Adams reflects on pre-season training in Antigua

Jimmy Adams, Kent’s new head coach, believes the Club’s successful pre-season trip to the Caribbean will set them up nicely for the upcoming 2012 season.

The team arrived back from a ten-day training camp to Antigua, at the start of the week, and Adams feels that the warm weather training and team bonding will give them an advantage over some of their rivals.

The newly appointed West Indian led a 19-man group which included 16 players, assistant coach Phil Relf, physio Nimmo Reid and Pete Kelly, the Club’s strength and conditioning coach.

We caught up with Jimmy to look back on the trip and preview tomorrow’s opening pre-season fixture; a 40-over match against Middlesex at Beckenham.

Jimmy, thanks for talking to the official Club website. Firstly, how was the trip to the Caribbean?

It went very well. We had a detailed schedule mapped out, before we left, and were able to complete it. We requested first class facilities and we got them. We received lots of support over there from the locals. There was no interference with the weather and it was nice to complete our entire schedule. It sets us up perfectly for tomorrow’s game and the season ahead.

What were the benefits of going?

There were two main advantages in my eyes. Firstly, it gave the opportunity for the squad to prepare outside and replicate match conditions. This was a huge benefit to us as a group. It also allowed everyone to get together in the evening and spend some quality time in the company of each other. We are going to be around one and other for long periods (throughout the season) and getting time together was crucial for team bonding.

Did you and the players enjoy it?

Yes, of course we did. We enjoyed it because it was of great benefit to us. It was our first proper outing as a group and we got in lots of work, thanks to the decent weather. The facilities and conditions were also very good.

What pleased you most?

Overall, I guess I was very pleased with the attitude that people showed. Everyone quickly realised that we were there to get lots of work done and people were more than willing to get on with it. We probably got more out of it that we bargained for, which is a very good sign.

How pleasing was it to get some time outside?

It was invaluable. We went there with no concerns on the weather and it just meant that we could get through the work planned and not have to worry. I guess it was a typical pre-season trip; we worked on fitness and built up our skills with regular net sessions, practice games and some locals came in to help us work on that so I would like to thank them for that.

Did it help the new players gel with the rest of the team?

Most definitely – everyone is getting on very well and the players all seem to be enjoying themselves. Charlie Shreck, Michael Powell and Ben Harmison, our new signings, all seemed to find it beneficial. It looks like we have a happy squad, which is good to see. The different personalities all had a chance to learn more about each other. Geraint Jones and James Tredwell missed the trip, due to international commitments with the countries of their birth, but I’m sure that will prove of great benefit to the Club. Darren Stevens also stayed at home. He has a finger injury but we all hope that he will make the start of the season.

What were the facilities like in Antigua?

They were superb. We had full use of the Antigua Cricket Ground and all of the staff were extremely helpful and supportive. They delivered all of what was agreed and were there to assist in all we asked for. The trip had been agreed by the time I was appointed so I had very little to do with the organisational side although the government of Antigua were very helpful in getting all the arrangements together. It was all down in black and white and agreed when I arrived but I certainly enjoyed it and the trip can only help the players as we get ready for the busy season ahead.

Did you play any matches out there?

We only took the 16 players and I didn’t want any of them missing out, and not getting involved, so we decided to get some locals involved and play inter squad games. It was far easier to go with two teams of 11 and it gave everyone a chance to get involved and feel their way back in.

How are things going ahead of tomorrow’s game with Middlesex?

I’m looking forward to it. We’ve had some beautiful weather this week and lots has been done since getting back. I wondered if we would be stuck indoors but the weather Gods have been good to us and it has allowed the players to build on the trip to Antigua. I think everyone is now really looking forward to getting underway.

Finally, will it be your first trip to Beckenham?

Yes, I haven’t been there yet but I’ve heard some good things so I’m looking forward to it. Most of the players have experience of playing there and are all very much looking forward to it. It’s a 40 over game and I will be using it positively to ensure that we start pre-season well. If we do that then we stand to be in the best possible shape for the season ahead.