The Sunfoil Dolphins squad are hard at work this winter as they ready themselves for the fresh challenge that the upcoming 2015/16 South African domestic cricket season presents.
“As a squad we are really looking forward to the 2015/16 season,” says Van Wyk.
“Last season we were pretty much middle of the pack in most of the competitions and there are plenty of positives to take from that.
“However, I think that’s also where our disappointment lies!
“We want to be reaching finals and competing for trophies so to have gotten ourselves into the mix in a couple competitions last season only then to lose out towards the end really hurt.
“I’m sure this will provide our guys with extra drive and motivation to do better this season,” he adds.
Having invested in a squad heavily laden with some of the province’s raw, emerging young talent a few seasons ago, Van Wyk believes many of the Dolphins squad are now matured cricketers capable of more.
“As a player and a team you never ever stop learning,” he says. “However, young and inexperienced are no longer words that can be used as valid explanations should we as a squad not achieve our goals.”
“We’ve got guys who have played most games for a good few seasons now, they’re seasoned professionals who are going on SA ‘A’ tours and being picked for representative teams. Now is the time we all need to step up and help the team achieve our goals.
“One or two other teams have set the benchmark when it comes to being consistently successful and now it’s up to us at the Dolphins to match and better this.”
While the start of the season proper may still be over three months away, the Durban franchise are already hard at work getting themselves into the best possible shape ahead of the 11 October season start.
“Achieving our goals for the season starts with our pre-season,” explains the wicket-keeper/batsman.
“It’s all about putting in the hard yards now because the higher you go, the smaller the margins get and so we can’t afford to take any shortcuts in our preparations.
“Those of our squad that are in Durban have been training really hard at Prime (Human Performance Institute) at Moses Mabhida Stadium for the past six weeks and already we are seeing the positive impact of this!”
While those in Durban undergo a thorough strength and conditioning programme, many of the squad are yet to join their team mates as they continue to hone their skills in the United Kingdom or the Caribbean.
Daryn Smit, Keshav Maharaj, Cody Chetty, Calvin Savage, Prenelan Subrayen, Jonathan Vandiar and Craig Kirsten have all experienced a part of the UK club season thus far while explosive opening batsman Cameron Delport continues his maiden outing at the Caribbean Premier League with Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel.
“Spending some time over in the UK at some stage of a player’s career is an absolute must for everyone, especially younger players,” says the skipper.
“It allows players to work on their skills in a less pressured environment and develop as a player.
“We, as a team, also benefit as more of our squad stay engaged with their game through the winter while the guys also come back having learnt to take care of big moments as they deal with the responsibilities that come with being a club’s senior pro!
“Most importantly though they not only grow as a player during this time in a different environment, but as a person as well!”
Kyle Abbott – another absent from training as he enjoys some time on the English country circuit with Middlesex – and his Dolphins and Proteas team mates David Miller, Imran Tahir and Ryan McLaren will all be in action when the national side heads to Bangladesh in July.
After notching up a century for the Proteas during their most recent T20 international against the West Indies at Sahara Stadium Kingsmead in March, Van Wyk was disappointed to be omitted from the sub-continental touring party however the 36 year-old unreservedly joins the rest of the Dolphins setup in wishing the national team well ahead of their upcoming assignment.
“I haven’t given up on my dream of playing for the Proteas as I feel I still have a lot to offer,” says Van Wyk.
“Regardless of whether I’m playing for the Proteas or not though, I’m still a proud Proteas supporter through and through and together with everyone else here at the Sunfoil Dolphins, I wish them all the best for the trip to Bangladesh!”