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George looks back on U19 experience

Sonny Baker, James Rew and George Thomas all performed well for the England U19s against the West Indies in the recent six-match ODI series.

This week, we will be catching up with the three young players to discuss their experience.

Today is the turn of George Thomas.

17-year-old George joined the Somerset Academy in 2019 after spending three years on the Emerging Player Programme.

The all rounder, who attends King’s College and plays his club cricket for Taunton St Andrews, made his Somerset debut in this year’s Royal London Cup clash against Leicestershire at the Cooper Associates County Ground. He immediately caught the eye with a superb 75 and shared a sixth-wicket stand of 182 with George Bartlett.

George featured in four of the six matches and topped the England batting averages after amassing 128 runs at 42.66.

We started our conversation by looking back at his impressive Somerset bow.

“At the start of the summer I never really expected anything like this to happen,” he said. “Then I got a message from Paul Tweddle saying that I’d been selected in the squad for the Royal London Cup match against Leicestershire. I got to make my debut and luckily for me, that went quite well. That was such a proud moment for me.

“It took a while for that to sink in and it wasn’t until a couple of weeks later that I really understood what I had achieved. It was certainly a dream come true.”

How did he get his call up for the England U19s?

“I was actually on the way to the supermarket with my mother when I got a call from David Graveney,” he explained. “He told me that I’d been selected for the series. It was a bit of a shock to be honest, but that Leicestershire game gave me a real confidence boost. It showed that I could do it at a decent level and fortunately I was able to put in a few good performances against the West Indies.”

Was George happy with his performances in the ODI series?

“I really enjoyed the whole experience,” he said. “I got a couple of good scores which helped to contribute to some of the wins and that was a big confidence boost for me. I think it went pretty well overall and I learned a lot.

“Any time you play against quality opposition, you learn something. You also learn things from your teammates. We had a lot of extremely talented boys in that squad, and I’ve learned a lot from them and also from the coaches.

“To get my cap number and to be presented with it by Marcus Trescothick was a seriously proud moment. Marcus has been really supportive to me and the Somerset boys. To be able to shake his hand and get my cap from him was unbelievable.”

How important was it for George to have the likes of Sonny Baker and James Rew in the squad?

“I’ve known James since I was about three years old, so to play for England with him was unbelievable. I’ve played with him throughout all my years of playing cricket. To play with him on that stage was a big moment for us both. Having some familiar faces in the dressing room definitely helped me settle into the squad.”

2021 was a big year for George. What does he hope to achieve in 2022?

“I’m hoping to carry on with the success I’ve had so far. I want to play as many games as I can at the highest level for Somerset. I want to keep enjoying it, get some decent performances under my belt and put my best foot forward towards getting onto the staff at Somerset.”

The Somerset Academy is supported by leading law firm Clarke Willmott LLP who are our Official Academy Partner.

Clarke Willmott LLP is a national firm of solicitors with seven offices across the country, including in Taunton and Bristol. They provide a full range of legal services for businesses and individuals, working closely with their clients to provide expert legal advice and tailored solutions on a broad range of potentially complex legal matters.

Also SCCC’s Preferred Legal Partner, Clarke Willmott LLP encourage SCCC Academy players to carry out work placements within their company in order to aid their personal growth and development.

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