Sun | Dec 4, 2022

Coley banking on fitter, stronger Scorpions

Published:Saturday | December 11, 2021 | 12:09 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
Kirk McKenzie.
Kirk McKenzie.
Andre Coley
Andre Coley
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Jamaica Scorpions head coach Andre Coley is expecting his troops to be one of the fittest teams when the Cricket West Indies (CWI) regional four-day championships bowl off next February, as the squad continues to put in a great deal of work ahead...

Jamaica Scorpions head coach Andre Coley is expecting his troops to be one of the fittest teams when the Cricket West Indies (CWI) regional four-day championships bowl off next February, as the squad continues to put in a great deal of work ahead of the resumption of regional cricket.

Coley, along with assistant coach Andrew Richardson and new fitness trainer Anthony Kepple, has been putting the squad through their paces for the past few months, in anticipation of the start of the new season.

With the pandemic eliminating the 2020 season, the Scorpions, along with the five other franchises, will finally get some cricket under their belts in early February 2022, and Coley says the team has been going through their paces with fitness being at the core of the sessions.

“We have always been working and we have also widened our pool of players. We have also continued to work on our fitness and strength and I have seen improvements, and we will continue to do that work,” said Coley.

WORK PAYING OFF

Coley has charged Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) trainer Anthony Kepple to whip the Scorpions into shape, and by all indications, the work is paying off.

“Kepple has worked well with the team and he has brought a high energy which has motivated the players,” added Coley.

With Sabina Park closed to facilitate the upcoming ODI and T20 series between the West Indies and Ireland, the Scorpions have had to utilise the University of the West Indies and Chedwin Park grounds for practice sessions.

Coley has indicated that up to 35 players, who have all been around the set-up, have been working out since September, including former West Indies Under-19 batsman Kirk McKenzie along with Jamaica Tallawahs invitee Abijah Mansingh, Kensington batsman Leroy Luggand and new JDF fast bowler Andre Dennis.

The squad has been able to play two practice games at Chedwin Park, and Coley was pleased that the players were able to get much-needed time in the middle.

“The practice games were promising after such a long lay-off. I think everybody was very happy to have games outside of training to get a measure of where they are at and where we as a team collectively are at, in areas such as fitness, batting, bowling and fielding.”

The Scorpions are set to have a few more practice games heading into the new year before intensifying preparations for the regional four-day championships in early February.