Potential Somerset Player Programme

Since it was first introduced to the Pathway, the Potential Somerset Player Programme (PSPP) has seen Fin Trenouth, Lewis Goldsworthy and Kasey Aldridge all progressing onto the professional staff at the Club.

This year there are three young cricketers who are on the programme: Jack Harding, Max Horton and Max Toohey, who will all be hoping that their time on the PSPP will end with them being offered a contract by Somerset.

Max Horton is an off spinning all rounder who is 15 years old and attends Backwell School. Up until now he has been playing his club cricket for Claverham, but in 2020 he is moving to join WEPL Premier One side Clevedon.

“Claverham are in the Bristol and District League so its quite a big step up for me,” he said. “I wanted to get to the highest standard of cricket I could and Clevedon is local to me, so I have joined them.

“Last season I played for the Under 17s even though I was still Under 15 and I got five for 38 against Gloucestershire at the end, so I’ve had a pretty good season.”

Max has been playing age group cricket for Somerset for the last five years, ever since Under 10s.

“Joining the PSPP is a huge step up for me.  I have figured out my own game now so I will be trying to push myself as far as I can go.”

Looking ahead Max said: “I hope that next season I can get onto the Academy and then hopefully it will be a professional contract with Somerset. That’s the dream!”

Jack Harding is a 15-year-old left arm pace bowler who attends Churchill Academy and plays his cricket in WEPL Premier One for Clevedon, before which he played at Congresbury.

Jack has played through the Somerset age groups from the Under 10s.

“Last year I was on the Emerging Player Programme which was a good step for me,” he said. “I enjoyed it very much, and I feel proud with what I have achieved so far. I’m thrilled to get onto the PSPP this winter and hope to be able to go on further.

“Hopefully I can push to get a place on the Somerset Academy and get some more Second XI games. I played in one game last season, which was away against Middlesex and that was quite an adventure for me. I was a bit nervy to begin with but I really enjoyed it. Marcus Trescothick was playing too and he dropped Toby Roland-Jones off me, which he apologized about!”

Last summer Jack also went to play at the Bunbury Cricket Festival, which he helped the South West to win.

Max Toohey is 17 years old and is a left arm off spinner and this is his second year on the PSPP. He attends Richard Huish College and is part of the High Performance Programme (Cricket Academy) that is run by Keith Parsons.

Max has played all the way through the Somerset age groups from Under 10s and plays for Taunton Cricket Club.

“I joined the EPP when I was 16 years old and was part of that for a year and then I came onto the PSPP,” he said. “That has been really good. With the PSPP having the chance to train with the Academy twice a week it’s really good, plus all of the opportunities that come with it.

“I’m going to India in February and that is really exciting and I’m really looking forward to it.”

Max went on: “Last season I played quite a few games for the Seconds which was a really good challenge and I enjoyed it all. At the end of it, I was pretty happy with how it all went for me. I played in three three-day games against Kent, Essex and Gloucester, so I played against some pretty decent players. In my first game I bowled against Daniel Bell-Drummond, which was a little bit scary. Luckily we bowled first so I didn’t have too much time to get nervous.

“I train here three times a week with the Huish Academy and it’s great to have access to all of the facilities that there are here at the ground and I really enjoy it. I reckon I’m here about four days a week training which works out pretty well.”

Looking ahead Max said: “Id love to play cricket for Somerset and eventually for England, but at the moment I’m taking things as they come and not looking too far ahead. My first ambition is to try and get a contract with the County.”

Steve Snell, Director of the SCCC Academy said: “All three boys have made excellent progress over the course of the last year and fully deserve their opportunity on the PSPP programme.

“The extra contact time and the opportunity to train with the professional coaches and academy players is already taking the level of their game forwards and we have seen considerable progress from them in a short period of time.

“The PSPP has been running in conjunction with our Academy Programme and highlights that the players involved are pushing hard to get to the next step.”

Steve added: “I have been hugely impressed not only with the fast paced development of the trio, but the excellent attitude and determination to improve that they have shown in abundance over the past few months.”

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01/07/2022 18:15 - Lord's