Meet the new Academy intake: Conway Gilbert

This week saw the five new players who will be joining the Somerset Academy receive their induction.

Over the course of the next few weeks we will be introducing you to these players. Today it’s the turn of Conway Gilbert.

17-year-old paceman Conway, who hails from Cornwall and attends Taunton School, is delighted to be joining the Somerset Academy this autumn.

“It’s really exciting,” he said. “In fact, it’s breathtaking because it’s been a goal of mine for quite a long time. It’s great to get the opportunity to join a club like Somerset and to work with their coaches.

“I’ve been on the PSPP for two years, and over that time my involvement has become more and more. I’m from Ruan High Lanes in Cornwall, but last year I moved up to Taunton School so I’m very local now and can get a lot more contact time.

“I moved to Taunton to try to develop my cricket as much as I could, and it’s paid off with me getting a place on the Academy.

“I started playing my club cricket at Gorran and now I’ve moved to join St Austell, where I’ve played for two seasons.”

Attending Taunton School gives the young pacemen contact with Somerset legend Marcus Trescothick.

“Tres has coached me a few times at Taunton School and I’ve trained with him a couple of times here at the Club. He’s great to work with. He loves being involved and loves coaching at Taunton. He has helped me with a few things with my batting.”

Conway talked about how he sees himself as a cricketer.

“I’d love to see myself as a bowling all rounder,” he said. “But I think that as I move up through the levels I’m more of a bowler. I bowl right arm fast and put it down there as quick as I can.”

Conway is now in his final year at school, so where would he like to be in 12 months?

“I’d love to be on the staff here at Somerset having signed a professional contract,” he said. “That’s my aim and what I want to aspire to. With the amount of competition that there is for places, it would be like a dream come true to be able to sign a professional contract with Somerset.”

Academy Director, Steve Snell said: “Conway impressed on the PSPP last year and certainly, in conjunction with our Cornish counterparts, a significant amount of time and investment has gone into his development. He bowls with real pace and his athletic potential is extremely high. I’m really excited to see what he can do over the next year.”

Chris Hunkin, Cornwall Cricket Performance Manager said: “We are delighted to see Conway awarded with a full Academy place with Somerset CCC. He has worked incredibly hard and diligently on his physicality and skills, especially in the past 3 years to get to this stage. Those attributes will stand him in good stead on the next part of his journey.

“We are looking forward to watching his continued development with Somerset and Cornwall in the near future and we wish him all the best in achieving his ambitions.”