DAVE Nosworthy reckons Somerset will start the season as underdogs and the team will have to scrap for everything that comes their way in 2014, writes Richard Walsh.

The Cidermen’s boss was talking just before his squad left for a fortnight’s training camp at high altitude in Pretoria where they will be joined for part of the time by Somerset batting legend Jimmy Cook.

The squad left the County Ground on Saturday lunchtime and flew overnight to Johannesburg before transferring to the High Performance Centre.

The first two days of this week were spent practising out on the grass for two sessions of two and a half hours each on Monday and Tuesday, the batters in the nets while the bowlers worked out in the middle off their full run-ups.

On Wednesday, after a morning’s training, the squad were involved in a team building exercise and today they are to be joined by some local players to make up the numbers to 22 to play a match between themselves.

Somerset return on March 8, just 11 days before the opening warm up game of the season.

Nosworthy said: “We are not far off the start of the 2014 season.

“After we get back here we will have a little bit of a mental break, then there will be another build up soon after which we will be into the pre-season games.

“I am trying to get the team to peak at the right time going into our first two Championship games, which are both really tough matches.

“We have got a few things to put right from last season and in many ways we will be needing to set the record straight.

“For the first time in a number of years we will most probably be going into this season with an almost underdogs type tag – which means that we will have to scrap and fight for everything – which I know the lads will be up for.”

Nick Compton was missing from the squad that made the trip to South Africa after being diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back, and with pre-season looming he remained behind to rest and undertake the rehab he needs.

Somerset added 23-year-old bowler Callum Stewart who took 27 wickets for the Second XI last season to their squad for the trip.

Nosworthy added: “Callum is someone we are looking at for the future and I suppose there is no better place or time than right now to start seeing how his ability and character fits into our squad.

“I have no doubt he will give his all and that his professional approach will carry him well going forward.”