Shropshire County Cricket Club’s Academy squad begin their season when they visit Ellesmere College to play a Twenty20 match this evening (Friday, 5pm).
Coaches Ian Roe and Dave Nock will give debuts to several promising youngsters alongside players who already have experience at this level.
Head of Academy Roe said: “After some impressive winter training performances and early season form, we welcome five new players into the side and it is great to see the player pathway working well.”
Shropshire Cricket Board’s pathway and coaching manager Ed Ashlin is confident the debutants will play well at this level.
The side will be led by Shrewsbury’s Lewis Evans, who will be supported by players with Academy experience.
Ben Lees will keep wicket and open the batting, a role he also had last weekend for Shropshire’s senior team in two T20 matches against Staffordshire: “Ben will anchor the innings and support the new players,” said Roe. “It will give him ideal preparation for Sunday’s double-header T20 fixtures away to Cumbria and at home to Northumberland on Monday.
“Charlie Walker and Harry Darley will play as batters for tonight’s game as they have a busy weekend ahead of them.
“It will also give us chance to see Matt Lamb who has just returned from injury. Luke Thornton and Matt Rees are also both included in the senior squad this weekend, so they will have a run out too. I know they will welcome the new lads into this evening’s side.”
Roe added: “Following discussions with my fellow county club coach Rod Jones, who is also Ellesmere’s Cricket Academy head coach, it was agreed to play an early season fixture to prepare players from both sides for their upcoming T20 fixtures.
“Shropshire chairman John Hulme is keen for the county club to forge closer ties with Ellesmere and we look forward to playing two upcoming fixtures in May against a Cheshire CCC Development side and Staffordshire U21s at the college.”
Shropshire Academy: Lewis Evans (Shrewsbury, captain), Ben Lees (Bridgnorth), Luke Thornton (Shrewsbury), Harry Darley (Shrewsbury), Charlie Walker (Bridgnorth), Matt Rees (Worfield), Matt Lamb (Shifnal), Theo Truss (Shrewsbury), Matt Kenvyn (Woore), Henry Walker (Oswestry), Josh McDonald (Wellington), Hamza Bhatti (Wellington).
Pictured: Shropshire’s Academy side play their opening match of the season at Ellesmere College this evening.