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Another busy and productive year for the Somerset Pathway

2021 was another busy and productive year for the Somerset Pathway.

The Summer Programme featured:

344 players representing 66 cricket clubs and 98 schools playing in 304 match days at

81 venues across 12 counties.

How would SCCC Head of Talent Pathway, Steve Snell sum up the year?

“This summer presented some unique opportunities for our players which were extremely beneficial,” he explained. “To see the likes of Sonny Baker, George Thomas and James Rew make their First XI debuts was extremely exciting and encouraging for all of our aspiring young players across the region to observe.

“We really missed red-ball cricket in 2020, so it was so important to get a large number of games played in 2021, whether that be two-day matches for the younger players or three-day games for the under 18s. To get as much red-ball cricket in as we did was brilliant. In addition to that, a high number of our players got to experience four-day Second XI cricket. That enabled them to experience a good balance and blend of multi-format cricket. That was a huge plus point.”

How did the Covid-19 pandemic affect the Pathway Programme in 2021?

“Our winter programme was obviously reduced and that meant that there wasn’t much in the way of preparation time or development opportunities for many of the players. Normally we have an extensive programme in place during the winter, and numerous players missed out on that important contact time ahead of this summer. It was something we were very conscious of and very empathetic to. Even though this setback obviously had an effect, we still saw huge development and growth in a number of areas in the players across the season.”

Steve has been impressed by the manner in which the young players have dealt with the pandemic.

“Young people, not just young cricketers, have had to show a huge amount of resilience over the course of the last 18 months,” he said. “There has been a huge emotional and physical impact on them, and they had to adjust to changing times and protocols to be able to play cricket this past season and I am sure that being able to simply play cricket will have given everyone, including the staff, a greater appreciation for the game and the fact that it is fundamentally there to be enjoyed.”

Steve was also full of praise for the Pathway staff.

“Matt Drakeley, Andrew Griffiths, Dave Roberts, Laura Lewis, and James Always, in conjunction with our Pathway Coaches, have been exceptional in terms of their appetite to keep providing our young players with appropriate development opportunities. The team are constantly organising and finding ways to create matches and training opportunities. We recognise that the appetite for cricket in the region across our clubs, schools and National Counties partners is phenomenal and the number of quality and highly qualified coaches and people who are interested and proactive in developing young people within the game is extremely significant. That is of huge benefit to the region’s cricketing eco system.

“SCCC benefit massively from the interest and expertise across the region, and the size of the talent pool which is available to us is increased as a result. We have collaborated proactively to ensure that as many opportunities as possible across all of these different areas have been provided. The quality and exposure of our network, and the expertise within these environments, is one of the reasons why our programme is constantly evolving and producing players.”

What does the winter have in store for those involved with the Pathway?

“We need ensure that our players across all ages have as much opportunity as possible to access high-quality coaching in great facilities. Matt Drakelely and the team are making sure that the players have targeted and focused winter contact time with a clear purpose behind it. The clarity of this and the energy, vibrancy and quality that this delivery will have will certainly be of an extremely high standard.

“It’s been an honour to lead and represent the Somerset Pathway and I will cherish the interactions that I’ve had with everyone across every aspect of the job.”

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