Skipper Daryl Mitchell says Worcestershire's players reap the benefits of their demanding winter fitness programme under the supervision of Strengthening and Conditioning coach Ross Dewar.

Mitchell admits the current 12 months a year schedule for the squad at New Road is a far cry from when he started out with the County more than a decade ago.

But the 32-year-old believes all the work proves its worth each Spring when the new campaign gets underway.

Mitchell, who is the Club's 2016 beneficiary, said: "Everything we do in the winter is very beneficial. It has changed massively since I started.

"You were on six month contracts and used to rock up on April 1, have a pre-season and it was a case of 'away you go.!'

"Now you are back in the first week of November after having October off and the lads are put through their paces.

"Everyone is a lot fitter and stronger and the standards in fielding in particular are far better.

"Touchwood our injury record with bowlers in particular is pretty good now, a lot better than 8-10 years ago and that stands us in good stead.

"It is hard work but it is certainly worth it come April when you have to do that first day in the field.

"It certainly helps come that last session when the fitter you are, the easier it is to concentrate and execute your skills better."

Mitchell will switch the focus to his batting skills when the players report back on January 4 after the festive break.

He said: "I've just had a couple of hits in the last week or so at Malvern to dust off the cobwebs a little bit.

"Hopefully I'll hit the ground running when I work on the technical things I want to work on come January."