Steve hails Academy tour a great success

Somerset’s Academy players have just returned home after attending an eight day training camp in Mumbai, where the emphasis was on transitioning their winter work into net and match scenarios.

The trip has been deemed an all round success by all concerned, as Steve Snell the Director of the Somerset Academy explained.

“We’ve used this venue for the last few years as a training camp for our Academy players and as a developmental experience for their skills. Also it was good culturally for them to spend some time in another environment.

“It also gave them the chance to immerse themselves in the cricket world for that short period of time, because most of them are still studying. To see them doing that in a very different culture and to see the growth in the skill level and maturity was very interesting.

“We gave them a reasonable amount of autonomy while they were there and it’s great to see them develop on and off the pitch.”

During their time in Mumbai the group also played in three matches.

“We played two T20 games and a one-day game which was great,” said Steve. “We interacted with a few English professionals who were out there – Matt Critchley from Derbyshire and Calum Parkinson from Leicestershire along with Josh Poysden and Jack Leaning from Yorkshire.

“I think our young players really benefited from playing against them and experiencing how First Class cricketers approach things. In addition to that, the local Indian players were of a high standard as well.”

Another member of the Somerset party was young professional Eddie Byrom.

“The way that Eddie goes about his business is very diligent and very professional,” said Steve. “I think that he got a lot out of the experience and enjoyed the opportunity to bat against bowlers for hours upon end.

“Eddie is very studious about his own game and I’m sure he felt that there was huge value in the practices we did in terms of the constraints- no bat, no pads and thin bats. It was great to see how Eddie went about his work and Ollie Meadows, who we paired him up with in the nets, will have gained so much from that experience.”

Steve also explained what goes on beyond the camp?

“One of the things we tried to do was to discuss and reinforce some key principles like quick footwork, to and away from the ball, bat face access to the ball and the ability to play off both the front and the back foot.

“The intention for the players was that they then evidence that in their game. The next step is to take that learning from India and implement it into the matches that they play this season.

“For the players to have the confidence and the courage to go and implement these skills in the matches that they play will be success in my eyes.”

Young paceman Ned Leonard enjoyed considerable success in the one-day game, claiming seven for 39 about which Steve said: “Ned impressed on the camp with the ball and showed that he is developing well. He bowled with real pace which was encouraging. I was impressed with what I saw from him, so what’s key for him now is to keep on working on his lateral movement with the ball and also the line and length he was able to hold through most of the trip.

“The pace he generated was really exciting, so he now needs to keep that development curve going upwards.

“The whole group evidenced development. For Sam Young and Charlie Reed it’s the third time that they have been out to India and that was evident in terms of their options against spin. Their games looked in really good order ahead of the season.

“For those two it’s about making sure that they have the skills and the confidence to go and score those big runs, which will hopefully give them the chance of progressing further in the game.”

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