Monday, November 30th, 2015

Tongue: Dream Come Through If Make Worcs Breakthrough

Tongue: Dream Come Through If Make Worcs Breakthrough

Josh Tongue says he will realise a dream he has held since just six years old if he eventually makes his first team debut for Worcestershire.

The all-rounder has just started his first professional contract at New Road – a two year deal up until the end of the 2017 campaign.

The 18-year-old had previously been a member of The Academy in 2014-2015 after recovering from a stress fracture of the back.

And Redditch born Tongue made a favourable impression when he was bloodied in the Worcestershire Second Eleven last season.

Tongue saved his best performance to the final game of the season with a return of 6-27 against Hampshire Seconds at Kidderminster.

But he has also showed he is no mug with the bat and in a Birmingham League match for Barnards Green, hit 150 last summer.

His potential led to him being included in a England Development Programme squad of players being looked at for the period after the next Under-19 World Cup in 2016.

But now his focus is on the training programme at New Road after recovering from a quad injury suffered during the first EDP camp of the winter at Loughborough.

Tongue said: "I first joined up with the Worcestershire Academy when I was six. I was in the Under-10s when I was six years old and opened the bowling.

"It has always been my dream to play for Worcestershire ever since I was six when I first got into the set-up.

"I just wanted to work my way up to here now.

"I used to watch the first team all the time. My dad used to bring me down to the ground. When I was younger I used to like the short format but when I got older I liked the Championship games.

"If I play for Worcestershire in the future it will be a proud day. I will make sure my mum and dad are there for that. They will be very proud as well.

"I know there is plenty of work to do but I'm enjoying the winter training. It is the first time I've done the day to day stuff as a full-time professional.

"The first week was tough because I got an injury in my quad. I was at the EDP camp at Loughborough and had a quad strain and had a few scans on it. The second week got a bit better."

Tongue added: "My aim next year is to try and push for a spot in the first team, maybe to play in the T20s or one-dayers or maybe a couple of games in the Championship.

"I played a lot of games in the Second Eleven last season and Kevin Sharp (second eleven coach) is a really good help.

"If I have to carry on playing and learning in the Seconds next year, that would be a good experience again because it is my first year (as a professional)."

*We will be featuring an interview with Josh on the Worcestershire CCC website in the next few days.