BACKROOM STAFF REACT TO TITLE WIN
SURREY’S EXPERIENCED COACHING STAFF HAVE SEEN IT ALL DURING THEIR TIME IN CRICKET – BUT THEY’VE STILL BEEN BLOWN AWAY BY THE CLUB’S CURRENT PLAYING SQUAD.
Rory Burns’ team guaranteed the Specsavers County Championship title with two matches to spare after victory over Worcestershire last Thursday leading to mass celebrations in the changing room.
It’s not just Director of Cricket Alec Stewart and Head Coach Michael Di Venuto who have been a guiding hand behind the scenes for Burns and his squad.
For Assistant Head Coach and former England & Surrey batsman Vikram Solanki, who joined the club as a player in 2013, it’s not a surprise to have seen the Kia Oval side romp to the title.
He said: “The title has been a culmination of a lot of hard work right from the days in November, December and January when they came in to work hard on their fitness. Darren Veness has done a fantastic job and the squad have all responded to him.
“The support staff have been singing from same hymn sheet and the players deserve all of the credit for the way they have worked. We’ve had lots of comings and goings with a number of England selections but it hasn’t affected their focus.”
Another long serving member of the staff is Lead Physiotherapist Alex Tysoe/
“This is a very special club with a special set of players who have worked their socks off for a long time now. This is definitely the greatest thing I have been a part of professionally and I’m chuffed to bits for Burnsy, the players and all the staff,” said Tysoe during the joyous aftermath at New Road.
The quota of staff has been boosted this summer with former England bowler Ryan Sidebottom joining as a consultant to Bowling Coach Geoff Arnold, who was not in Worcester.
The former left arm seamer is a serial winner of the County Championship after spells at Yorkshire and Nottinghamshire during his playing career. Despite that experience of being with a winning group, he has still been impressed by the manner of this group’s victories.
He said: “To come to this set up after Stewie rang me at the start of the year and asked me if I would like to come down and join the coaching staff is special for me but since I’ve been here it’s been all about the team ethic.
“It’s quite clear for everyone to see that, as a unit, this is a serious team. They’ve been absolutely outstanding and the work they have put in has led to this reward. I’m chuffed to bits!”
Finally, Strength & Conditioning Coach Darren Veness also joined Surrey in the off-season. Following the end of the 2017 campaign, he moved from Somerset and immediately set to work, with the rewards now apparent within the squad.
“The boys have been outstanding. They’ve been relentlesss all the way through the campaign working hard on and off the pitch. It’s been an absolute spectacle,” said Veness.