Folkes joins West Indies as new Strength and Conditioning Coach

CHRISTCHURCH -- The West Indies Cricket Team has a new Strength and Conditioning Coach. He is Steve Folkes, the legendary Australian Rugby League player and coach, who has joined the Windies as they get ready for the upcoming series in New Zealand.

Folkes has made the switch from coach of the Bulldogs Team in Australia. Since linking up with the West Indies here in Christchurch he has had a hands-on approach, working closely with all the players.

The West Indies had fitness and net sessions on Friday at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval and will have similar sessions on Saturday as part of the build-up for the upcoming series of two Tests, two T20 Internationals and five One-Day Internationals.

“I can remember going to the cricket ground in Australia and watching Sir Garry Sobers, Wes Hall, Rohan Kanhai, Roy Fredericks and other great West Indies players. Naturally I got autographs from them all, so I understand that West Indies have a very proud and successful heritage. I will do my part to have a positive environment, good team atmosphere and good team culture,” Folkes said.

“My football career showed that I’m a winner and I know that the Wes Indies are eighth in the world rankings right now, so I will do all I can to help to push that up and bring a winning attitude and positive drive.”

Folkes said he felt comfortable from the get-go and has already made the adjustment.

“It has been going really well. The sport is different from what I’m used to but the guys have been welcoming and we managed to do some decent sessions over the last few days. It’s pretty good,” he said.

“The switch from rugby league cricket is a bit different. My background is in strength and conditioning and then I went to coaching. The sports are different and the needs are different so I just need to adjust. I will learn by watching and I have spoken to [Head Coach] John Dyson and sought his advice.”

Fixtures

Friday, Dec 5 to Sunday, Dec 7: vs Auckland at Eden Park Outer Oval

Thursday, Dec 11 to Monday, Dec 15: 1st Test at University Oval, Dunedin

Friday Dec 19 to Tuesday, Dec 23: 2nd Test at McLean Park, Napier

Friday, Dec 26: 1st T20 International at Eden Park, Auckland

Sunday, Dec 28: 2nd T20 International at Seddon Park, Hamilton

Wednesday, Dec 31: 1st ODI at Queenstown Event Centre, Queenstown

Saturday, Jan 3: 2nd ODI at AMI Stadium, Christchurch

Wednesday, Jan 7: 3rd ODI at Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Saturday Jan 10: 4th ODI at Eden Park, Auckland

Tuesday, Jan 13: 5th ODI at McLean Park, Napier

SQUAD: Chris Gayle (Captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (Vice Captain), Lionel Baker, Carlton Baugh Jnr, Sulieman Benn, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Fidel Edwards, Leon Johnson, Xavier Marshall, Brendan Nash, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor.

STAFF: Omar Khan (Team Manager), John Dyson (Head Coach), David Williams (Assistant Coach), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Steve Folkes (Strength and Conditioning Coach), Richard Berridge (Analyst), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist), Philip Spooner (Media Officer)