ANEURIN Donald is relishing the chance to work with Matthew Maynard following the Glamorgan batting legend's appointment to Robert Croft's coaching staff for the 2018 season.

The former England Under-19s international from Swansea is one of the Welsh youngsters around whom the club are determined to build – with the appointment of Maynard, after three years as director of cricket at Somerset, a key part of that policy.

He will spend 100 days a year working with the batsmen, and Donald says his influence is clear to see already.

"It was probably the right time for a batting consultant to join the group," said the 21-year-old, who will be looking to improve on a record of 487 runs from 11 Championship appearances last season.

"Having his guidance and experience both as a player and coach, and especially as a fellow Welshman, is just a treat and something we're very fortunate to have. We're doing our best to tap into his knowledge of the county game and how to be successful. Hopefully, he'll play his part in taking us, especially the batting group, onto higher honours."

Donald says the batsmen's focus this season will be on taking more responsibility.

"It's mainly about giving ourselves a little bit more chance up top, trying to face more balls, even though we're a group of youngsters," he added. "And making match-winning contributions and scores, which tends to be big hundreds in red-ball cricket. We probably haven't done enough of that in recent times."

There will be fresh competition for places in the higher order and Donald, fresh from a half-century against Surrey on the club's pre-season trip to Dubai, says there are youngsters who are ready to put their hands up to fill the voids left by Jacques Rudolph's retirement and Colin Ingram's focus on one-day cricket.

"We needed to push the squad to the next level and having guys fit and raring to go and putting performances in on the pitch, not just in the nets, gives our selectors a bit more of a headache," he said.

The early signs were promising in Dubai, a fresh approach to the county's pre-season preparations.

"I'm not sure we can look back and say we've had the greatest of starts, especially in Championship cricket," Donald admitted. "I think this pre-season tour was designed to give us no excuses and to cover all bases coming in to perform on that first morning."

He says that finding form and rhythm were the two main aims of the trip, where they played one-day and four-day matches against Surrey and Lancashire, as four-day captain Michael Hogan embarks on his first full season in charge.

"It's a luxury we haven't had for the last couple of years to play matches against other county opposition before our season, other than a couple of games we squeezed in when the weather permitted. Hopefully that will come to the fore in the first few Championship games."

Glamorgan start their campaign against Gloucestershire in Bristol on Friday, April 20.