Geoff Cook targets Durham glory

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DURHAM coach Geoff Cook hopes his side’s anger and frustration can fuel a successful season on all fronts.

It was a case of so near, yet so far for the men from the Emirates ICG last term, as they got themselves into a position to win silverware in the three different competitions.

Durham reached the semi-finals of the Clydesdale Pro 40 competition, the quarter-final of the Friends Provident T20, and narrowly missed out on the Championship, finishing third just 14 points behind winners Lancashire

That was a bitter pill to swallow for Cook’s men, but the coach believes he can harness that disappointment into a positive this season.

“In September of last year we were featuring in every competition, but didn’t really pull anything off. There was a lot of frustration, a lot of anger, around the place that we didn’t fulfil the opportunities we had.

“It was a blow to everyone at Durham that we missed out after starting so well. There was a lot of hurt and anger in the changing room.

“We are now looking forward to the start of a new season. I think we see the pre-season as a launch pad to try to get rid of those pent-up emotions.

“And hopefully, they can be turned into a positive and spur us on to success.”

Durham have just returned from a nine-day training camp in Dubai, and kick-off their pre-season on home soil tomorrow with the start of two-day friendly with Yorkshire.

That is followed by a three-day first-class game against Durham University, starting on Friday next week, before the real action starts with the first Championship game of the season – at home to Nottinghamshire, starting on Thursday, April 12.

Cook is looking to get some momentum going ahead of the clash with Notts, knowing that a good start could be key to their trophy hopes.

He said: “We have make sure we get ourselves ready for when the competitive stuff comes along, and when the chances are there to win those games, we have to make sure we are in the right frame of mind to take those opportunities.

“If we get off to a good start we know this team is well equipped to win trophies.”

He added: “The first thing we need is to steer clear of injuries and get people in form. We had times last season when we missed key players, and that cost us in some games.

“You need to have a bit of luck where injuries are concerned, and if we get that, then we certainly have a chance to do well.

“The squad at Durham is a very affable group of fellas. There’s not a bad egg among them really. They want to do well for themselves and for Durham, but they also want to do well for each other.”

Steve Harmison could play tomorrow, despite dislocating a finger on the tour to Dubai.

Durham’s friendly with Yorkshire tomorrow and Monday, will also be open days.

Supporters can get in to watch the game for free, and can also take part in a tour of the ground.

Tours will run every half an hour from 11am until 4pm each day. You can book your free place on one of the tours, in advance, by calling the club’s Box Office, during office hours, on 0844 4994466.