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The cricketers on the Somerset Academy have spent their last Sunday session in the Centre of Excellence at the Cooper Associates County Ground and now, weather permitting will be hoping to get outside.

Steve Snell the Director of the Academy said: “I’ve been impressed with the hard work and effort that they have all put in over the winter months and I know a lot of them have made great strides in their development. I’m now looking forward to seeing them transition that into match-play as soon as they get the opportunity.”

The first game for the Academy was scheduled for Tuesday against King’s College in a 50-over game, but sadly that has been called off because of the wet ground, so now they will be hoping start against a Dorset side, that will be a mix between their first team and Leopards side, tomorrow (Sunday) at Taunton Vale.

“I’m really looking forward to the guys showing what they can do and to seeing them transition all of the hard work that they put in indoors and over in India onto the grass.”

One of the Academy players who has already made his mark this season is Tom Lammonby, who scored 83 against first team squad bowlers in one of the in-house pre-season games.

“It was great for him to come into that game between the professional squad and score 80 odd and he fielded well,” said Steve. “It highlighted the level he is currently at and was really good for him. It puts pressure on him now to make sure that he is putting in match-influencing performances at whatever level he is playing at, whether it’s for Exeter, Somerset Seconds or Devon Minor Counties. It was great to see him start the season like that, especially as it was his first game back from injury.

“In that match it was also good to see Ned Leonard opening the bowling against Marcus and Steve Davies. He didn’t look out of place in what was a baptism of fire for a 15 year old. What impressed me most about that was how calm he remained in that environment and the pace and line that he bowled. He took it all in his stride.

“Nathan Gilchrist has also been around the professional environment for sometime now, and has been involved in a few net sessions. He’s also played for the Seconds and it was good to see him putting into practice some of the hard work that he has put in on his action this winter in a game situation.”

Steve went on: “This year we have got quite a large squad so there is going to be strong competition for the Academy players to get into the Second XI, and with Fin Trenouth and Tom Banton having both just signed professional contracts, there are several young batters in contention.

“The likes of Ben Wells and Tom Lammonby will have to work hard to earn their place in the second team through performances in the games that they play in, whether that’s in club or school cricket, so it’s down to them to try and force their way in.

“I am really looking forward to what is my favourite time of year in the job that I do. The guys have all worked so hard through the winter on everything that they do, but now is the time that counts and it’s about performance and whether they can transition this work into competitive cricket.”

Steve added: “They can work as hard as they like indoors, but this is of no consequence if they can’t perform in the nitty-gritty of a game situation, so it’s great to see how they perform and evidence that improvement and I can’t wait to see that happening.”

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