Cricketers training hard to start season on front foot

He said rigorous training during the off-season was hoped to be the catalyst for an improved 2013-14 campaign.

‘We have been getting back to basics and have been really focusing on our fielding,’ Simmons said.

‘We have identified fielding and catching as areas to work on. It is always disappointing not to play in finals and we really want to be in contention this season.

‘Two-day cricket is where we want to improve, and we think we can achieve that after a solid off-season.’

While his team’s form was patchy, Simmons enjoyed a stellar season winning the Olly Cooley medal for the best and fairest player in the 2012-13 competition.

The left-hander scored 517 runs and claimed 47 wickets with his orthodox bowling.

Simmons (30) was confident he could continue to hone his skills. ‘I know what to do after a dozen years in first grade cricket,’ he said.

‘I have stayed in Perth this winter and have been training for the past three months. I believe I am in good fitness and am looking forward to the season.’

The former WA and New South Wales first class cricketer still harbours a desire to play again in the Sheffield Shield.

‘If I can start the season strongly, anything is possible,’ Simmons said.

‘I would love to play State cricket again. I do not concentrate on how many runs and wickets I need for the season, because that can get daunting.’