Will can’t wait for title defence to begin

Will Smeed has been back at the Cooper Associates County Ground training hard ready for the start of his season, which got underway for him this weekend when he played for Bridgwater in West of England Premier One.

We caught up with him to see how his preparations are going.

“My first game was for Bridgwater on Saturday against Bishopston and the Somerset games start pretty soon now. We’ve got a fair few Second XI T20 games before the Blast, so hopefully I can score some runs.”

The big hitting 22-year-old talked about how he has spent the winter.

“Pre-Christmas I was based locally and did a lot of training. Then I went away to the UAE at the start of January with my Emirates team and although I didn’t get to play much, we trained most days, and I got a lot of practice in. We also won the competition which was good.

“Then I went from there straight to Pakistan where I got to work a lot with Shane Watson, which I really enjoyed. I feel like I’ve taken a lot from that and hopefully I can use some of those learnings to win some matches for Somerset this year.”

Reflecting on last year’s Vitality Blast success, Will said: “The aim is always to win, and I think that last year has shown that if we play well, we can beat anyone. We can take a lot of confidence from that. You get a lot of experience from winning close games, so we will take a lot from that. We’re always looking to improve so it’s pretty exciting to see what we can do this year.”

What did it mean to Will to be part of that trophy winning team?

“To win the Blast for Somerset last summer was the best feeling I’ve had playing cricket ever. That’s why I play, to win trophies with a group of people that I care about.

“You could see just what it means to the players, the fans and everyone involved at the Club. To win a trophy was awesome and it leaves us wanting more.

“I’ve been in training back here with the squad, and everyone seems to be in a pretty good place and is really excited about the start of the cricket. We’re feeling confident and some of the guys are doing really well in red ball cricket, so hopefully they can take some of that form into the Blast.

“There’s just a really good vibe about the place and we will get to feel it more as the T20 comp gets closer and we start to have training sessions altogether.”

Regarding Somerset’s Members and supporters, Will said: “I go all around the world playing cricket but the crowd we have here at Taunton is definitely the most passionate, and it’s my favourite place to play. It’s home for me and it’s great to have the opportunity to carry on playing for Somerset. The crowd is awesome, and I wouldn’t want to be an away team playing at Taunton. The crowd definitely get behind us and hopefully we can perform well again in front of them.”

Before the Blast though, Will lines up for Bridgwater CC.

“We’ve got a great group of lads at Bridgwater,” he said. “Everyone is really close and there is a proper family feel about the club, in fact my Grandma lives about 100 metres from the ground so I’m sure she will be down watching.

“The goal at Bridgy is to win the league, which we haven’t managed for the last few years but there is definitely a strong enough squad there to do it this year.”