Air of confidence in Dolphins camp

2013-09-19 00:00

AHEAD of the domestic cricket season, there is an air of confidence and belief in the Dolphins camp with players, coaches and administrators hopeful a trophy of sorts will at last adorn a long forgotten trophy cabinet.

At the 2013/14 season launch at Kingsmead yesterday, CEO Jesse Chelin and coach Lance Klusener outlined the new approach adopted in pre-season preparation, while new skipper Morné van Wyk introduced the squad of contracted players.

“We expect a good season on and off the field,” said Chelin. “Off the field we have strengthened the management team with the addition of Christo Spies as a life coach and mentor, plus one of our favourite sons, Dale Benkenstein, returns as batting consultant.”

Benkenstein is recognised as one of the most successful captains at the franchise and knows what it takes to win at provincial level. Chelin said this experience, added to his technical and managemnet skill, would be a massive benefit to the team.

Chelin added that Kingsmead was preparing for a massive season, hosting the Boxing Day Test against India, an ODI against the same opposition and a T20 against Australia.

“Obviously we are still awaiting the outcome of what the Board of Control for Cricket in India [BCCI] decides but we are working on the original itinerary until we hear otherwise,” he said.

Klusener said the squad had prepared differently to seasons past, with more emphasis on physical fitness and hard training.

“It’s a case of train harder and smarter,” he said. “We have had one-on-one chats with all the players, asking them to decide where they wish to improve, what they bring to the team and how they can better themselves. If all this is in the right place, it equals a better contribution from the player.”

He welcomed Benkenstein’s involvement, saying, “He’s not the batting consultant, but rather the run scoring coach. If we don’t score enough, speak to him.”

As for new players, Klusener said having Van Wyk was invaluable as he gave leadership and massive experience to the team, which would benefit the younger players.

On signing England fast bowler Graham Onions, he said he looked forward to his contribution as he was a quality player.

Klusener thanked Chelin and the union for their support in the build-up to the season and mentioned Daryn Smit’s contribution as captain last season.

“It was a new experience for him and he handled it well. It wasn’t easy but he came through it well and kept the team together,” he said.

The bottom line is a new mindset and attitude for the season from the Dolphins. It remains to be seen whether they can find the key to the trophy cabinet and add some shine to the main grandstand at Kingsmead.

Dolphins Squad 2013/14

Morné van Wyk (capt), Calvin Savage, Cameron Delport, Cody Chetty, Craig Alexander, Daryn Smit, Divan van Wyk, Imraan Khan, Khaya Zondo, Kyle Abbott, Mthokozisi Shezi, Robbie Frylinck, Jonathan Vandiar, David Miller, Keshav Maharaj, Vaughn van Jaarsveld and Prenelan Subrayen

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