Shropshire’s Emerging Player Programme proves a big hit with promising cricketers

Shropshire County Cricket Club’s Emerging Player Programme has been hailed a great success after 14 promising players were invited to attend the close season coaching programme.

A partnership between Shropshire CCC and Cricket Shropshire, the winter programme – introduced to identify promising players from around the county – was again sponsored by Besblock, keen supporters of cricket in the county.

Coaching sessions for players aged between 15 and 19 were delivered on eight successive Friday evenings at the Neville Cardus Indoor Cricket Centre at Shrewsbury School.

A number of guests from Worcestershire CCC, including the club’s Shrewsbury-born first teamers Ed Barnard and Dillon Pennington, helped inspire the EPP youngsters by passing on some tips during visits.

Shropshire CCC’s Academy coach Ian Roe said: “It was a well attended programme held over eight weeks and the boys put in a lot of hard work. Their work ethic and application could not be faulted throughout.

“We extend our thanks to Andrew Huxley and Besblock for kindly sponsoring the programme.

“The coaching programme was put together and well delivered by Alexei Kervezee, so thanks to him and Dave Nock, my fellow Academy coach, and Ed Ashlin, from Cricket Shropshire, for all their help during the sessions.

“There was also valuable input from Worcestershire as Kevin Sharp, the club’s head of coach and player development, his coaching staff and some of the players gave up their time to come along.

“The boys learned a lot, especially from Ed Barnard and Dillon Pennington as Salopians. It was great to have them with us for some of the programme.

“Ed and Dillon emphasised to the boys that this is where they started. Their hard work, self motivation and the expert coaching they received has propelled them to the first-class arena. Who knows, could one of the attendees this time maybe join them in the future?

“We were also joined by Elliot Wilson, the Academy director at Worcestershire, and Andy Sutton, one of the club’s coaches.”

A number of the cricketers involved with the EPP programme will now move on to Shropshire Academy’s pre-season coaching sessions under way at Wrekin College.

Pictured: Coaches and players line up at Shropshire’s Emerging Player Programme at Shrewsbury School, back from left: Alexei Kervezee, Dave Nock, Josh Darley, Joe Smallman, Ben Lees, Niall McAdam, Gregor Beardsmore, Adithya Manigandan, Dominic Zaza, Ian Roe, Ed Ashlin; front: Will Stanford-Davis, Harry Darley, Luke Thornton, Thomas Dix, Tom Griffin, Vivian John.