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George eyeing more First Team action

George Bartlett, who recently returned from a winter in Perth, has made it clear that he is keen to play more games for the first team this season.

The top order batsman, who turned 20 on Wednesday, worked his way through the Somerset age groups before graduating from the Academy. He has since impressed with the England Under 19s and at the start of last year set a new record score of 179 in the Youth Test series against India.

In 2017 George played in our final four Specsavers County Championship matches, hitting the winning runs in the home victory over Lancashire.

During the winter George played Grade Cricket for University CC in Perth as well as working with batting coach Stu Walters as part of the ECB scheme.

Shortly after returning George said: “I’m very pleased to be back in Taunton and to catch up with everybody. Five months out in Australia was really good. It was really worthwhile and I was happy with how things went, but now I’m glad to be back.

“I felt that things went pretty well for me over there. I began well and got a few scores, which is what I thought was important. I then built up from there. It was also good to be able to help the team to get to the finals for the first time in a few years.”

Talking about what he was doing in Perth he said: “When I was out in Australia I was working a lot with Stu Walters through the ECB. I worked on pace and on the short ball and general back foot stuff. That’s been worthwhile and I felt those areas have progressed well.”

How has he found things since his return?

“Since I’ve been back it’s been really good to be able to work outside in the marquee with the rest of the squad. It’s quite challenging and the wicket was doing a bit, but overall it’s great to be outside. I’ve played in a marquee at Loughborough with the England Under 19s about a year ago, but this is different with the Somerset lads.

“It’s been good to hear what everybody has been doing and how hard everybody has been working during the five months that I been away. Joel Tratt (SCCC Head of Strength & Conditioning) has been really good.”

In addition to his cricketing experience what else did George get from his time in Australia?

“Whilst I was away I had to do a lot of things for myself. It’s the longest time that I’ve ever been away from home so it was a very different experience for me. However, I managed pretty well and it’s good to have had that independence.

“I managed to catch up with Ben Green over there and it was good to have someone you know to meet up with occasionally.”

Looking ahead to the coming season George said: “Having had the taste of first team cricket at the end of last season, I definitely want some more this summer. The team ended strongly although I would have liked to have done a little bit better myself. It was good to be able to contribute in a few ways to Somerset staying up. Hopefully I can start well this year and we’ll see where that puts me when the season starts.”

He added: “There are a lot of good players at the Club, so I need to keep a focus on what I can do to improve. I need to keep working hard at my game and we’ll see where that gets me by the time the first competitive games come around.”

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