Coach Ripley delighted by Northants’ pre-season preparations

PLEASED - David Ripley
PLEASED - David Ripley
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Northants head coach David Ripley had admitted to being pleased with how the club’s pre-season tour to Barbados has panned out.

The County will return from the Caribbean this weekend having spent the best part of a fortnight gearing up for the domestic campaign.

And Ripley declared himself content with the progress that has been made, saying: “It’s been great for the lads to be together. The ideal thing for everyone at this time of the year is to be together and coming away has allowed lots of opportunities to mix.

“They’re having a drink with a different person each time and for the younger lads, the likes of James Kettleborough, Rob Keogh, Christian Davis and Olly Stone, to be around senior players will do them good.”

As for the cricket, it has been a bit of a mixed bag.

A solid performance in a two-day clash with Derbyshire was followed by two 20-over defeats and a two-day draw with Yorkshire, but Ripley thinks the principle objective of time in the middle has been achieved.

He added: “The facilities in the first few days were excellent so we got a couple of good nets in and the game against Derby enabled us to have a full day in the field and most of the lads got to bat for a length of time.

“The T20 was a good experience and the game against Hampshire, with a tight finish, was the sort of thing you can’t recreate in practice.”

But while the experience, in the main, has been a positive one, Ripley did have a couple of minor quibbles.

He said: “The lads who didn’t play in the T20 didn’t really have much to do in and around the ground and that’s something to review in the future. There have been a few challenges to deal with and the organisation has been a bit haphazard, but we haven’t wanted for anything and the people here have been extremely helpful.”

Another negative has been injuries suffered by Sam Sweeney and Davis. The former is suffering from a shin problem and the latter has broken a finger.