Academy Update

The 2018-19 Somerset Academy programme will reconvene on Sunday November 4th followed by an Induction Evening on November 6th when all of the cricketers involved will be in attendance with their parents to find out exactly what to expect during the coming year.

In total there will be eight of the most exciting and promising young cricketers across the South West of England involved in the programme. As reported recently Kasey Aldridge, Jamie Baird and Henry Smeed, will be joining Charley Reed, Ned Leonard, Sam Young, Lewis Goldsworthy and Will Smeed who have all been involved with the Academy for at least a year or more.

Academy Director, Steve Snell talked a little about the five players who are already a part of the Academy Programme when we spoke to him earlier.

“Charley Reed is a wicket-keeper batsman who attends Kings Edward’s School in Bath. He is now in his final year on the Academy and has had an outstanding year in Under 17 cricket. He posted some significant scores, not only for the Under 17s in red ball cricket but also for Corsham. I’ve been really impressed with the level of growth, particularly in his batting and it’s been really pleasing to see him expand on his scoring options from the work that he did in the winter. This was evidenced during the season.

“Charley was selected to play in the Super4s regional competition and the challenge for him now will be whether he can score those runs at a senior level in the Second XI.”

“Ned Leonard has just completed his first year on the Academy and he has developed extremely well. He’s an exciting young bowler who has been clocked in the low 80s, which is impressive for somebody who is yet to turn 17. He can also bat and is one of those guys who will run through a brick wall to get what he is after. With his pace, he will need to keep working on the craft side of his game in terms of refining his technique and skills. He’ll be working hard on this area this winter.

“Ned bowled against Marcus Trescothick and Steve Davies in one of the early pre-season interclub games where he showed great resilience after suffering a few boundaries early on and then got Steve’s wicket. He also cleaned up Alex Blake when he made his Second XI debut against Kent with a full pitched Yorker and beat him for pace, which was really exciting.”

“Sam Young missed the whole of the 2017 season through injury, so it was great to see him bounce back and get on the field for the whole of 2018. That was testament to how hard he has worked on his fitness. It was great to see Sam grow in skill and awareness with the cricket he played this year. He is a pure striker of the ball and he played some really exciting innings. Sam also made a significant improvement to his red ball game as the summer went on and he posted a superb hundred against Gloucestershire for the Under 17s. He then carried that form onto the Super4s and I know that the England Young Lions selectors were really impressed with him and his potential capabilities. He has been picked as a reserve for the Young Lions this winter and if he can keep growing his game he has got the potential to move onto another level.”

“Lewis Goldsworthy had an outstanding second half of his season. He is a very accomplished player against spin and his footwork against spin is outstanding. He is continuing to show he is a more than a capable run scorer. He gets a lot of runs in tough situations in both red and white ball cricket and has a high level of skill. As his physicality matures, Lewis is going to be an exciting player in all forms of the game and one of the things I like about him is that he is involved in games whenever he is on the field and impacts upon it.”

“Will Smeed’s path is frighteningly progressive and I think with that it’s important that we show some patience with him because it’s likely that there will be some bumps along the way for him.

Will has scored runs at a variety of levels and he has looked really exciting in Second XI cricket. Will is an outstanding young player and the challenge for him will be to maintain and improve on the level of performance that he has shown in 2nd Xl cricket so far.”

Regarding the winter program Steve said: “Some of the guys will be away with the England Young Lions and will receive an outstanding opportunity in that sense. We and the players will also be working collaboratively with their clubs and schools and trying to improve their skills, self awareness and fitness capabilities alongside our programme.”

Steve added: “Very much on the agenda is to take the guys away for a pre-season camp, most likely to India. This trip will cover all aspects of their cricket and will aid the development for them as people. I am looking forward to taking them away and finding out more about the boys as characters and it’s a great chance to get to know them better away from a competitive environment.”

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11/07/2022 11:00 - Southport