STEVE Rhodes has called on his players to use their winter wisely as they prepare to step up to life in Division One of the County Championship next summer.
Worcestershire’s director of cricket wants his young squad to improve on all aspects of their game when they report back for duty early next month.
Rhodes said everyone was aware they were in for “one hell of a challenge” when they were tested in the higher division.
“You look at our line-up and we’ve got Richard Oliver at 24, Daryl Mitchell at 30, Tom Fell at 20, Moeen is a bit older, Tom Kohler-Cadmore at 20, Alexei Kervezee at 23-24, Ben Cox 22, Joe Leach, 23-24, Dolly 22 and Charlie Morris at 21.
“You’ve got a really young side. For them to be part of a side that has been promoted is really good for us going forward.
“It’s going to be one hell of a challenge next year, we are well aware of that, and this team is going to be really tested in the next division.
“But hence the reason I’ve asked everyone to make sure their winter is a tough one, an improving one in all aspects, which is mentally as well as tactically and technically working on their game and physically.
“All you can do is be prepared and we’ll try and be prepared as we can be.”
The former Worcestershire and England wicket-keeper added their main focus in 2015 would be to stay in the division and then build on that.
“Our obvious aim next year will be to try and maintain the status. If we can do that, year on year on year, we will slowly improve,” he said.
“But it is going to be a huge challenge.
“We still don’t know the situation regarding Saeed Ajmal, will he be bowling, and those things are for us to see in the winter.”