Academy coach Ian Roe backing Shropshire’s promising players to push for first team places

Academy coach Ian Roe believes some of the county’s promising youngsters will be pushing for first team places with Shropshire next season.

Roe is encouraged by the development of the county’s up and coming players after they wrapped up their season by playing two Twenty20 matches against Lancashire Academy at Wrekin College.

Dan Lloyd and Matty Simmonds, who both played in Friday’s Academy fixture, were selected for the first team’s final Unicorns Championship match of the season against Wiltshire, with Roe insisting the opportunity is there for others to follow in their footsteps.

“The players in the Academy squad have contributed all summer,” said Roe. “Their commitment and enthusiasm shines through.

“A number of these players will be knocking on the first team door next year. They’ll certainly be making their presence known as long as they continue to work hard.

“Two of the lads, Dan Lloyd and Matty Simmonds, have been rewarded with selection for the final first team match of the season against Wiltshire.

“The likes of Joe Carrasco, Jack Edwards, Ryan Lockley and Sam Ellis have all come through our Academy, so it just shows that we do promote from within and pick our home-grown players.”

Lancashire claimed victory in both T20 fixtures at Wrekin College, but Roe was impressed with much of what he saw from Shropshire’s young side.

Lancashire won the day’s opening game by 13 runs, totalling 147 before restricting Shropshire to 134.

Skipper Lloyd, a left-arm spinner, led the way with the ball, taking three wickets, before top four James Kinder, Josh White, Lloyd and Ben Lees did well with the bat.

Shropshire batted first in game two and accumulated 135-7, which was built around an entertaining 50 from Jack Furnival, while Lewis Evans (27) and Connor Davies (23) also weighed in.

Lancashire reached their target in the penultimate over of their chase, advancing to 141-1.

Roe added: “We felt that it was a challenging score, but it was a fantastic display of T20 batting from Lancashire’s top three.

“I thought our ground fielding was very good and the lads are getting better with each game.

“Lancashire are always strong and they have already requested a return fixture next year. They love coming to Wrekin College and think it’s a fantastic facility with the big boundaries, a great wicket and a perfect outfield.”

Pictured: Shropshire’s Academy team line up for the camera ahead of their final match of the season against Lancashire Academy at Wrekin College, back from left: Sam Davies, James Kinder, Connor Davies, Jack Furnival, Lewis Evans, Alfie Holliehead, Ben Lees; front: Sam Baugh, Luke Thornton, Josh White, Dan Lloyd (captain), Matty Simmonds, Matt Rees. Picture by Alex Thomas.