Dillon Pennington, who made his debut for Shropshire this summer, has moved a step closer to breaking into first-class cricket by beginning a three-year university scholarship with Worcestershire CCC.
Shrewsbury-born Pennington, a towering fast bowler and hard-hitting batsman, will combine his studies at the University of Worcester with being a member of the New Road squad.
It’s another step in the right direction for the Shrewsbury all-rounder, previously part of Worcestershire’s Academy.
Former Shropshire captain Ed Foster, a Shrewsbury team mate of Pennington’s, feels it is deserved recognition for a player he holds in high regard.
He said: “Dillon is essentially now a full-time member of the staff at Worcestershire and will study at the same time so he gets the best of both worlds.
“The biggest thing for him over the next six months will be to try and learn as much as he can from the coaches at Worcester, to really get himself fit and try and stay injury free. If he can do that then I look forward to seeing how good he is next summer.”
Pennington, 18, pictured, a former student at Wrekin College, made his debut for Worcestershire’s 2nd XI this season.
He was also called up by Shropshire to represent the county in both the Unicorns Knockout Trophy and Unicorns Championship.
A regular in the Shrewsbury side which finished runners-up to Knowle & Dorridge in the Birmingham League’s premier division, Pennington hit his maiden first team century for the club, against West Bromwich Dartmouth, last September.
Foster said: “He’s a really talented cricketer and a genuinely nice guy, which always helps as well.
“His physicality gives him so many benefits. He hits the ball a long way and he bowls pretty quickly. He’s very well suited to the whole professional game really.
“The potential, the ability that he shows, is phenomenal really.
“He’s a local lad who has come through the Shrewsbury junior set up and he’s one we’re very proud of.”
Meanwhile, Charlie Home, another promising Shropshire all-rounder, is to spend the English winter playing club cricket in Western Australia.
The Shifnal player will play for Hay Park CC, based in Bunbury, in Western Australia.
Home will play alongside former Shropshire all-rounder Jono Whitney at Hay Park.
Ollie Westbury, the Worcestershire opening batsman who has played for Shropshire in the Unicorns Trophy for the last two seasons, has also spent time with Hay Park.