Academy players to play Minor Counties

Over the course of the coming season several of the young cricketers who are on the Somerset Academy will be going off to play Minor County cricket to broaden their experience.

We spoke to SCCC Academy Director, Steve Snell this week and he explained why this will be occurring. “I’m keen that our players in the older age groups of the Academy get to play as much competitive adult cricket as possible,” he said. “Therefore, we’ve made sure that we have scheduled into their summer playing programme that if they are not selected to play Second XI cricket for Somerset, they will have the opportunity to play in Minor County cricket.

“We see this partnership with the Minor County sides as a huge step in the development of our young players.

“We have healthy relationships with the minor county sides across the South West, and these relationships have become even more collaborative over time, which has considerable benefits for both parties.”

Steve then went on to talk about each of the young players.

“Sam Young will be going to play for Dorset, where he will get some good experience playing one-day, T20 and three-day cricket. This is a real opportunity for him to go and put in some performances to show why he should be given some further opportunities in the Second XI. Last season he scored two WEPL Premier League centuries for Bath and I’m confident that he can make some significant contributions to Dorset.

“Charley Reed scored two Premier League centuries for Corsham last year and he will be registered to play for Wiltshire in the Minor Counties. It’s up to Charley to ensure that he takes this opportunity with Wiltshire and his performances will be a good measure of where he is at currently.

“Both Ned Leonard and Kasey Aldridge will be playing for Devon. Kasey is fresh off the back of being away with the England Under 19s. There is fierce competition for places for fast bowlers at Somerset, so this is a great opportunity for him to go and play Minor County cricket, where he can bowl longer spells.

“Ned has  been picked in the England development squad programme for a training week and I wanted to make sure he has the opportunity to play minor counties cricket in order for him to keep developing and exploring his potential within Mens cricket. This will enable him to play a prominent role at an excellent level of cricket, which at this stage of his career will offer a good challenge.

“Lewis Goldsworthy will continue his link with Cornwall and will show again just why he should be in a prominent position in the Somerset Second XI.

“In addition, we will be looking for Will Smeed to play some Minor County cricket. Unfortunately, he has a shoulder injury which is going restrict his early season involvement, so we are going to keep a check on how his rehab goes.

“Sam, Lewis, Ned and Kasey all attend Millfield School, who have been pivotal in the player’s ongoing development. Charley attends KES Bath who have also been superb in their support of him.

“Both Schools have been extremely supportive around fitting in some extra fixtures to the player’s cricketing curriculum and have clearly put the player first in any decision that has been made in regards to the boys availability.”

Steve added: “With the exception of Ned Leonard, all of the young cricketers mentioned are at Upper Sixth stage of their education, so this is a big year for each of them in terms of their all round development and their future career paths.

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