Saturday, September 17th, 2016

County Finalising Their 2016-2017 Academy Intake

County Finalising Their 2016-2017 Academy Intake

Worcestershire CCC are currently finalising their 2016-2017 Academy intake which will be announced at the beginning of October.

Seven members of the current Academy programme will be offered the opportunity to return and work with coach Elliot Wilson for a further 12 months.

Josh and Jack Haynes, Jack Charter, George Newton, Josh Dell, Zen Malik and Dillon Pennington are the seven in line to stay with the County for an additional year.

But in the meantime Wilson is carefully identifying the other potential contenders for 2016-2017.

He will make the final decision on selection but will  consult Director Of Cricket Steve Rhodes, and the county's group of coaches in addition to opposition coaches and those involved with the Bunburys and Super Fours.

Wilson said: "It has been an enjoyable 12 months trying to help the current group of players  and also at the same time identifying and working with the players who may come onto the full academy programme this year (2016-2017).

"It is an exciting time for a lot of people who are under consideration for it. We've got some real challenges this year for a number of reasons, trying to select the group.

"The last three years, the group has really picked itself because of the quality of some of the guys we've had which has been seen with that huge representation at England Under-19 level.

"That has really made my life very easy the last couple of years.

"This year I am genuinely finding it very challenging to work through the players – a lot of good crickers who have got a lot of merits to being involved – and work out how we best support them.

"That means what message we want to send to them, what we offer, what we select them on, what opportunities we give, what we expose them to, and the experiences we provide for them.

"I wrote to them all to inform them that's what we are doing and we will be in touch through the month of September to make sure we've got it all nailed down by the end of September."

Wilson added: "Ultimately the final decision come down to me. That is where ultimately I will get judged in terms of decisions, right ones and wrong ones, and who we are able to attract onto the programme.

"But I do consult with Norman Gifford, Gavin Haynes, Kevin Sharp, Andy Sutton, Paul Pridgeon, David Manning, Matt Mason and Steve Rhodes on all players we are considering.

"I also consult with coaches from other counties who have seen our players, the guys who have been at Bunburys, Super Fours, Best Of Bunburys, and get their thoughts on those guys to help inform the decisions we are going to make.

"But ultimately it comes down to me to press the button and say 'yes or no'. I'd like to say I'm responsible for it but Worcestershire County Cricket Club as a whole is accountable for it."

In terms of the seven invited to return, Wilson said: "Josh Haynes will to all intents and purposes be back for his fourth year and Jack Haynes will be back for his third year.

"Jack Charters will be back for his third year, fitness permitting as he has a bit of a back problem at the moment and George Newton will come and do his second year. Dillon Pennington will be starting his first full year.

 "Josh Dell and Zen Malik, who have been playing England Under-19s, will have the opportunity to be kept on the academy for an additional year whilst we keep trying to support them to get from being a talented Under-19 cricketer to warrant the opportunity of being a professional cricketer at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.

"The seven will have the opportunity to be back with us and if it fits for them, and is right for them, they will be back in the programme for the next 12 months."