Academy fixture provides Shropshire’s promising young cricketers with another chance to impress

Head of Academy Ian Roe believes Sunday’s 50-over friendly against Herefordshire’s 2nd XI at Shifnal (11am start) is another opportunity for the county’s talented group of young cricketers to underline their potential.

This weekend’s match is the first of two Academy fixtures to be arranged this season, with Shrewsbury School to provide the opposition later this month on Sunday, September 27.

The Shropshire side selected for Sunday, captained by Charlie Home, includes a host of players who have already represented the county in first-team friendlies in recent weeks.

Roe is encouraged by how they have performed and the Herefordshire match provides another chance to impress Shropshire’s Director of Cricket John Abrahams.

Roe said: “John wants to look at the players playing in different surroundings. We have forwarded our team to Herefordshire early so that they can bring a side that will create a challenge for both teams by having two balanced sides.

“It’s a more senior Academy side than what we played last year, but that’s because the lads have been playing consistently week in and week out for the last five or six weeks.

“I have seen some huge improvements from the senior squad and also the lads involved with the Academy who are in and around the senior squad now, with how they conduct themselves, their professionalism, their preparation, so all credit to them.

“We’re hoping that Sunday provides us with some more information and I think we have a very well balanced side looking at the 12 that we have selected.”

There are first call ups for Shifnal opening batsman Ed Beard and Shrewsbury all-rounder Peter Clark.

“I worked with Peter when he was 14 at Shrewsbury School,” said Roe. “You could see that he had star quality talent and he’s a real worker.

“Ed has proven in previous years that he’s a talented cricketer and it was good to see him take his chance playing for Shifnal’s first team in the Birmingham League last weekend, batting with Steve Leach and scoring runs.”

Roe added the impact of Abrahams in his first year with Shropshire has been very positive for the development of the county’s promising cricketers.

“John has been such a breath of fresh of air,” he said. “We speak most days and I am learning a lot from him and Jason Weaver.

“John’s a very positive person and the lads have really stepped up.”

Spectators are welcome to watch Sunday’s match, with admission free. Social distancing must be adhered to at all times.

Shropshire Academy: James Kinder (Bridgnorth), Ed Beard (Shifnal), Peter Clark (Shrewsbury), Charlie Home (Wolverhampton, captain), Dan Lloyd (Wellington), Matty Simmonds (Bridgnorth), Ben Lees (Bridgnorth), Sam Ellis (Shrewsbury), David Laird (Sentinel), Luke Thornton (Allscott), Sam Baugh (Bridgnorth), Ben Parker (Worfield).

Pictured: Shifnal stages Shropshire’s Academy fixture this weekend.