YORKSHIRE four-day captain Steve Patterson fully expects his team-mates to successfully deal with any disruption to their winter training schedule should it arise as a result of further Coronavirus restrictions.

Patterson has praised the diligence of the White Rose squad during the full summer lockdown, which delayed the start of the county campaign until August 1, and expects more of the same this winter.

The current plan is for the senior squad to return to Emerald Headingley for fitness testing on November 19 and 20. It may then be that the players follow more individualised programmes. For example, experienced players could be given more time away from Headingley than younger players.

But, with Coronavirus still causing complications up and down the country, flexibility will be key.

When the players returned to training ahead of the early August start, they did so in excellent physical condition, contributing significantly to their unbeaten run through the five-game Bob Willis Trophy as they finished top of the North Group with three wins and two draws.

Unfortunately, though, having gained three fewer points than South Group winners - and eventual champions - Essex and 10 fewer than Central winners Somerset, Patterson and co missed out on the five-day final at Lord’s.

Patterson said: “There are a lot of unknowns at the moment.

“All you can do is look after yourself and be responsible, as every pro sportsperson should, so that when the time comes we are ready to hit the ground running.

“As a group, we did that very successfully during the four or five-month break for Covid through the first half of the summer.

“When the lads came back, they were in really good shape.

“We’ve shown we can work hard and successfully on our own and be ready to play at very short notice - our performance level in the four-day games was very high.

“I don’t know exactly how things will pan out for us, but I’m not worried at all should we come across any disruption.”

Last week, Yorkshire confirmed the 2021 Academy and EPP players (a dozen in total), and they will return to training on Saturday November 14.

Academy head coach Richard Damms said: “Looking ahead to this winter, the EPP lads will be treated exactly the same as the Academy.

“We’re back in on Saturday November 14.

“The first two sessions will be physical screening and mental skills profiling days. Following these, the players will receive bespoke individual programmes from our athletic performance team.

“The cricket will start the week after with one-to-ones, providing opportunities for specific technical development.”

This winter is the first for the Northern Diamonds Women’s Regional Centre of Excellence set-up, including five full-time contracted players.

Three have already been confirmed (Hollie Armitage, Beth Langston and Linsey Smith), with two more to be announced by the ECB.

Yorkshire women’s captain Armitage has travelled to Australia for a winter of club cricket and coaching work in Tasmania, a move backed by the Diamonds.

But other non-contracted players such as White Rose leggie Katie Levick, to name just one, will also join training from next week.

Levick explained: “It will be a bit of a different winter to what I’m used to.

“As amateurs, we usually just see each other before the start of the season, but things are becoming more professional with the new structure.

“We’ll be getting started next week with the Diamonds.

“There will be the five contracted players, but for us girls with jobs or at Uni we will be training around that and doing all we can.

“The staff have been really good by putting on weekend and evening sessions. Even if we can’t get to any of those, the staff will help us remotely to ensure we can still get what we need.

“We’re back in for fitness screening next week and the schedule starts from November onwards. Four weeks off and straight back into it. It’s all new and exciting.”