As the 2016/17 South African domestic cricket season draws nearer, the Sunfoil Dolphins recently shifted gear in their preparations for the upcoming campaign, moving from off- to pre-season mode with head coach, Grant Morgan pleased with how things have gone so far.
With many of the squad playing cricket in the UK or touring with the South Africa ‘A’ and National Academy, Morgan – who took on the role in May – has been working closely with the reduced squad for the past couple of months and has enjoyed the progress his charges have made.
“I’ve been very happy with the way we’ve trained,” says Morgan. “The guys have worked hard and we’ve also been quite honest with one another as we start our planning processes for the season.”
“I haven’t been too prescriptive with the guys, instead splitting them up into smaller working groups and also doing a fair bit of individual work, which has gone well.
“As we move into the pre-season phase now, we’re looking forward to getting outdoors a lot more in the coming couple of weeks and really pressing on,” he adds.
Daryn Smit, Robbie Frylinck, Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Calvin Savage and Sarel Erwee have all been playing overseas during the winter while Khaya Zondo, Keshav Maharaj, Andile Phehlukwayo, Sibonelo Makhanya and Tshepang Dithole have been with either the SA ‘A’ or National Academy squads.
“I’ve let the guys overseas be for a bit but have also remained in fairly regular contact with them and kept them up to speed with what’s been going on back home, so everyone’s definitely on the same page.
“The guys who have been with SA ‘A’ or at National Academy have also come by and worked with me when they’ve been home and it’s great that they’re able to get that exposure at that higher level, play matches and work on their skills.”
A few injury concerns have also been attended to during the winter in preparation for the testing upcoming season.
“Morné (van Wyk) had surgery on his troublesome wrist, Divan (van Wyk) had an op on his hip which had been giving him hassles for a while and Daryn (Dupavillon) has had a chronic shoulder injury for some time so he’s had that sorted out and should be good to go by the start of the season.”
While training will move outdoors in August, September will see pre-season matches take place under Morgan’s curious watches.
“We’ve got a couple of internal games lined up for mid-September before we then have a few Africa T20 Cup warm up games and we may throw in a few middle sessions later on, just before the season, if we need to,” says a positive Morgan.