Nashua Titans coach Matt Maynard admits that his side’s Sunfoil Series campaign has been a trying one, but is still hopeful that his side can turn the corner when they host the Sunfoil Dolphins at SuperSport Park this week.
“I’ve never experienced anything like this in my career as a coach,” Maynard lamented.
The defending four-day champions have failed to win a game this season, but Maynard insists that they have been more competitive than that. “It’s tough for the players, because they have worked really hard in practices, but that hard work hasn’t been reflected on the field. In our last four games, I would say we have really competed in three of them, but just not had the breaks,” he explained.
Maynard also pointed out that it was a season of transition for his side, with a lot of newcomers trying to find their feet.
“Someone pointed out to me recently that the difference between the Proteas Test side and their ODI side is the fact that they have three newcomers in their ODI side, and that is how small the difference between success and failure can be.
“If you look at it, last season we had 11 players in our side with years of first-class experience, and this season we have seven players with less than 20 first-class games each. It’s a transition, and it will take time.”
Maynard added that they would face a Sunfoil Dolphins side that was cock-a-hoop after three wins in their last four matches. The KZN franchise, also in a phase of rebuilding under Lance Klusener, have registered wins over the table-topping Nashua Mobile Cape Cobras and then the Chevrolet Warriors in recent weeks, and will be looking to finish the campaign off in style.
“They have come off a really good win in the last round, and a really good run of form before that. So they will obviously be very confident coming up here,” Maynard anticipated.
“The Sunfoil Series is obviously gone for us, and maybe the players need to adopt a one-day approach to this game, and look to get the feel-good factor going again,” he added hopefully.
The Sunfoil Dolphins, spearheaded by leading wicket-taker Kyle Abbott, will be looking to cement third place in the standings, and they will fancy their chances to do the double over the struggling Nashua Titans.
"I think Lance has got through to us as a coach, and we now realise that we are out here to try to win trophies, and not to make friends," Abbott roared after his side had crushed the Chevrolet Warriors by nine wickets.
Play at Supersport Park starts at 10am on Thursday.