FORMER Chard cricketer Joel Tratt has just landed a dream job after completing a year as a strength and conditioning intern at Somerset County Cricket Club.
Tratt, who is 25, is taking over as lead coach at the prestigious Oakham School which has produced a number of outstanding sportsman in recent years including Chris Broad and the rugby international Tom Croft.
Tratt said: “It has been a very special year here for me here at the County Ground and a lot of fun.
“I have learned a lot about all aspects of professional sport, the dynamics of how it works, the daily processes the club has to go through, what the boys have to go through and the emotional ups and downs of performance.
“In addition to all of that I have learned a lot about the actual science and day to day application of strength and conditioning which is what I was here to learn about.
“For me as a young coach coming into the club being able to work with an experienced and astute coach like Darren Veness and physio Ian Brewer has been just fantastic.
“For a local boy, born and bred in Somerset, it was a dream job and I look forward to coming back next season as a fan and sitting on the outside and just watching the boys play.
“I loved the club beforehand and now I love it even more and will be a fan forever.
“To be able to come and work with Marcus Trescothick and the boys who have been great with me and made me so welcome has been just brilliant.
“Being around when the boys have won is just a special moment and things I will always treasure.”
Tratt added: “I have always lived in Barrington near Ilminster and went to the local first school and then on to Swanmead after which I attended Wadham School at Crewkerne.”
In 2011 he graduated from university in Worcester where he studied sports science, after which he worked as a freelance health and fitness trainer but was aware his career wasn’t progressing so wrote to the club.
Darren Veness invited him in and offered him a job which he began in October 2012.
Tratt said: “I am going to work as the lead strength and conditioning coach at Oakham School in Rutland which is an incredible place.
“It’s a prestigious school and the list of athletes they have generated through the last ten years speaks for itself.
“I will be working with Academy Level athletes across all sports as well as GB hockey players and tri-athletes.
“I will be in charge of the programmes for all of these guys.”
Tratt will be sorry to leave Somerset however.
He added: “I want to say a massive thankyou to everyone at Somerset who welcomed me and made me feel part of the set up from the first day I arrived.
“I would like to say special thanks to Daz and Brewsy who gave me the chance to be here and have supported me the whole way.
“I have loved it here and it’s hard to go but even though I will be working somewhere else I will be keeping a close watch on how the team are progressing in the future.”