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Busy time for Academy players

The young cricketers who are involved with the Somerset Academy attended their first group session of the year at the Cooper Associates County Ground recently.

SCCC Academy Director, Steve Snell outlined what the young players have been doing since starting out on the programme back in the autumn.

“Since November’s Induction Night, each of the players have had an awful lot of contact time and a great deal of practice has taken place in a number of locations throughout the winter.

“The players have been working hard to try to develop some of the areas that were identified from the 2019 season as well as some new areas for them to experiment with and explore.”

One of the developments that has taken place since Steve first took up the post of Academy Director five years ago has been the development of the Potential Somerset Player Programme. The players involved with the PSPP often attend the Academy sessions as part of their programme as Steve explained.

“The PSPP and the integration with our national county partners has been vital in terms of the growth of the Academy players,” he said. “It has provided a growing player pool and a great development vehicle for players to get more contact time in the SCCC environment. Players like Lewis Goldsworthy, Fin Trenouth and Kasey Aldridge have all been on the PSPP programme and graduated on to the Academy and subsequently onto the professional staff.

“Our relationships with our National County partners have evolved considerably and it’s good to see the various partnerships that have been announced formally this winter. The communication and the intention to develop has been really collaborative between Devon, Dorset, Cornwall and Somerset.

“How this works in the winter is that players from these counties are invited into coaching sessions, information is being shared and some sessions are being delivered in each of those counties by us. The proactivity on all sides is beneficial to the players.”

Regarding the time commitment Steve said: “Each of the boys involved with the Somerset Academy has two group sessions on a Sunday and a Wednesday at the Centre of Excellence. In addition to this, coaches go into their schools and deliver sessions as well. The players also come to the Ground for additional sessions, so they are getting at least three or four sessions a week.

“This doesn’t include the fitness work that they undertake with James Always, who is the Pathway Strength & Conditioning Coach. His appointment has had a considerable impact on what the players are doing.”

The Academy group were joined by those involved with the Potential Somerset Player Programme and the Emerging Player Programme to take part in a mental health workshop that was delivered by Mark Boynes from the Opening Up Charity, in conjunction with the PCA.

“Opening Up is a charity that deals with mental health issues of young cricketers,” said Steve. “It was a superb session about raising awareness and how to be proactive in dealing with the subject. It got our players interacting and understanding their own mental health and some proactive methods they can use to maintain and improve it.

“Marcus Trescothick was with the guys as well for the workshop and it was useful to have someone of his calibre working with our Academy players, and I know that they are thriving on that experience, which has been great to see.

“In addition, we had a Pathway Induction taking place for the Pathway Centres and the Girls Pathway that Matt Drakeley and Sophie Luff run, so it was an extremely busy day. It was a great first session back with lots of exciting cricket and conversations about development taking place.”

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09/07/2022 19:00 - The Cooper Associates County Ground