Zak Bess off to Australia after finishing 'awesome year' with Somerset

Zak Bess (left) and cousin Dom, ready to head Down Under

By RICHARD WALSH

ZAK Bess' time as a strength and conditioning intern at Somerset County Cricket Club has come to an end and the 23 year old is shortly heading off to Australia for the winter.

Reflecting on his 12 months at the club Zak, who graduated from Exeter University a couple of years ago said: " Right from the start my year here at Somerset has been absolutely brilliant.

'Everyone was so welcoming to me and it has continued all the way through and it's a shame that it has come to an end.

"With the team coming second in the Championship and everything else that has gone on it has been an awesome year for me to have been a part of and looking back I don't think I could have asked for a better time to have been here at Somerset.

"To have been here to experience everything that has gone on throughout the club, from age groups up to the first-team level has been so interesting and just awesome.

"When I first came here last autumn I would have settled for the way it has worked out for me, in fact it has been much better than I expected."

Zak played for Somerset 2nd XI a few times earlier in his career so has some knowledge of the set up at the Club.

"I have had some association with Somerset in the past so I knew it was a good place to be a part of, but what has happened in my year here has far exceeded my expectations and it has been just fantastic.

"The help that I have had from everyone at the club, all the coaching staff and Darren (Veness) and Jamie (Thorpe) in particular has put me in a good place for the future - I hope!"

What has it been working with the senior players, some of who Zak has grown up watching on the international arena?

"Getting to know people on a personal level has been really brilliant and as a strength and conditioning coach that relationship with the players is very important because it means you can communicate effectively with them and get the best out of one another.

"I was a bit nervous to begin with but having worked with people like Marcus (Trescothick) I treat him just like anybody else. Everyone has made it very easy for me to come in and work closely with them.

"Even now when I get a message from Marcus on my phone I still have a little chuckle to myself!"

What has been the most enjoyable aspect of the job for Zak?

"I probably wouldn't be able to choose between two aspects of the job. The first is when you put in the time and work with somebody and they feel the benefits and come and thank you for your work .That's one of the most enjoyable parts of the job and that has been right the way up from the age groups up to the first team.

"The second part has been the relationships that I have built and having been here for a year I have found that a very important and enjoyable to know somebody on a personal level because it means so much more when they succeed."

What lies ahead of Zak?

"My plans are that when I leave Somerset I will travel to Adelaide where my cousin Dom is going and currently it looks like we will both be playing for the same club, which will be brilliant.

Adam Hose is also out in Adelaide as well so there will be a few of us and I can keep an eye on them and help them with their strength and conditioning work.

"I plan to go out there play some cricket and continue with my strength and conditioning work as much as possible and get as much experience as I can to develop myself, with the idea of coming back at the end of their summer and finding a job when I get back home.

Zak added: "It is an exciting time for me because I have been to Australia before to play, and that was in Perth, so its brilliant to have the opportunity to go back and to do it alongside the strength and conditioning is even more exciting for me."