The story of Chorley all-rounder Tom Smith gives you an insight of just what it takes to be a professional cricketer.
He made his first-class debut for Lancashire in 2005, has been a regular since 2008 and is still an ever present in the all three formats of the game.
But all hasn’t been easy for Tom, who has battled with injury throughout his career.
However, he is now well into pre-season for the 2014 season and cannot wait to get started again.
He said: “Pre-season is going very well.
“We finished for Christmas a week ago but we still have to follow our own personal training plans.
“They are good fun and we will all be having regular meetings with the strength and conditioning coach to check everything is going well.
“At the moment I’m feeling strong, fit and healthy which is always a bonus.”
The 28-year-old has enjoyed the time off since the end of last season but found himself itching to get back to the Emirates Old Trafford and start preparations for the 2014 season.
He said: “I’m definitely glad to be back.
“It’s not that you get bored or anything, but you just find yourself with hardly anything to do once a few weeks have passed.”
Currently, the Lancashire squad are focusing purely on fitness with little actual cricket being played.
But once they move into the new year, the squad will integrate more and more cricket into each training session.
And this is what Tom enjoys best.
He added: “This is what we all love doing – playing cricket.
“The fitness is always
“But when we start setting our targets as a team and concentrating more on cricket, that’s much better.”
And Tom has high hopes for the Red Rose county, who were promoted from Division Two of the County Championship at the first time of asking as champions.
And despite facing stiff competition in the top flight, Tom is full of confidence in himself and the squad that a successful season is something the squad can achieve.
He said: “I personally want to be playing in all three
formats e county game, one-day league and Twenty20.
“I have been lucky to do so and I still want to do that.
“As a team, we want to compete in Division One of the Championship but also win a one-day trophy.
“One bonus is there is plenty of competition for places so it always makes you want to perform that bit better so you can secure your place.”
And despite only being 28, Tom knows that playing cricket will at some point come to an end.
But with the support of the club, he is more than confident of having options after cricket.
Tom added: “I’m 28 so I’m only midway through my career, but I’ve got to look into the future and see what’s after cricket too.
“I’m doing my coaching badges at the moment so that will always be an option for me.
“But I’ll have options and the club, as well as the Professional Cricketers’ Association, always help you out and give advice, which is helpful.”