Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Worcs Ccc To Oversee Boys Player Pathway

Worcs Ccc To Oversee Boys Player Pathway

Worcestershire County Cricket Club will from next month oversee the boys player pathway which has been responsible for developing many members of the current first team squad.

It will mean the County will have greater control from October 1 of the progress made by budding stars of the future from Under-9s right through to when they join the full Academy – and eventually the professional ranks if all goes to plan.

The likes of skipper Daryl Mitchell, Brett D'Oliveira, Ben Cox, Ben Twohig and Josh Tongue of the current professionals at New Road have come through this system which previously came under the umbrella of Worcestershire Cricket.

That will in turn free up more resources for Worcestershire Cricket to focus on growing the game and attracting more youngsters to take up the game.

Worcestershire Academy coach Elliot Wilson explained: "Here at New Road there are two organisations, the County Cricket Club and the Worcestershire Cricket Board.

"The Cricket Board is generally responsible for recreational cricket but it is also the body which has been responsible for representative cricket, boys and girls, for a long time now.

"To ensure a continuity of coaching, continuity of delivery and trying to have a greater control over what goes on with every young cricketer in this county from under-9s through to the academy and hopefuly into the professional game, the County Cricket Club have seemed fit to take on the whole of the boys player pathway.

"As of October 1, the pathway, all of our county age group cricket, will be delivered and overseen by the Worcestershire County Cricket Club rather than the Worcestershire Cricket Board.

"It enables us to ensure a continuity of coaching, a quality of message, a joined up approach with everything we do all the way from nine-year-olds all the way through to the 19-year-olds.

"It gives us a real level of control, influence, flexibility over what we do in that journey to try and develop future cricketers for Worcestershire County Cricket Club like Josh Tongue and Ben Twohig, Daryl Mitchell, Brett D'Oliveira etc.

"What we are hoping is we don't just have products of the academy but we get more products from the pathway itself across the whole of the pathway rather than guys who just come into the academy part of that process."

Wilson added: "I have written to all the clubs in Worcestershire that have junior sections just to let them know what this exactly looks like and what impact it will have on them.

"I hope really the impact is a positive impact in terms of a greater connection between the clubs and the County Cricket Club and our ability to work closer with them and improve what they do at club level to give us a greater chance of producing good Worcestershire age group cricketers.

"But also to ensure the link between clubs and Worcestershire is a good one so whether a player progresses through or doesn't quite make the grade at any age group, he chooses to remain involved in really healthy cricket club enviroment whether it be Kidderminster, Ombersley, Barnards Green or the smaller clubs around."

Ryan D'Oliveira and Andy Sutton have switched from roles with the Worcestershire Board to working as part of the Worcestershire Cricket Club set-up.

Wilson said: "Ryan has started as a cricket administrator, a match-day liason officer and also a pathway cricket coach.

"He will continue the administration he has done for the player pathway, which he has done for the last 18 months, and will then take on responsibility for match-day liason between the club and the scorers, umpires, officials, TV etc to take the burden of Steve Rhodes and Mick Cadmore.

"He will also get to increase the hours he does from a coaching perspective to help the pathway and also get some exprience of working with Kevin Sharp and the second team.

"Andy Sutton is the final piece of the jigsaw to basically do the job he has done with the Cricket Board which is performance officer. He will now be a performance officer for the County Cricket Club.

"We will still have the backing and full support of Worcestershire Cricket Board. We see that as very important to the development of clubs, the recreational game and coaching at all levels but it will now be primarily delivered by the County Cricket Club rather than the Cricket Board.

"We will then be responsible for all cricket activities representative-wise in Worcestershire."

Worcestershire Cricket development director Tom Hill said: "We've been working really hard for a number of years now in partnership with the County Cricket Club.

"We are obviously geting closer as two organisations and working a lot more efficiently together and as a result the boys county age group programme is moving across from the cricket board to the county club from October 1.

"It is really positive. Now Bumpy and Elliot will have a direct line of sight of every talented young cricketer in Worcestershire and it will.

"This also means our role at Worcestershire Cricket becomes very clear, we need to develop a passion for the game locally, to inspire the next Darryl Mitchell, the next local club cricketer, fan or even club groundsman.

"With a sharper focus in growing the game hopefully we can attract more talented athletes to choosing cricket instead of rugby, football, hockey etc.

"In the past we've been a bit guilty of spreading ourselves too thin, trying to do the players performance pathway, educational programmes, schools, clubs, women, girls, disability. You can't do all of that well with the resources we have."