Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Worcs Paceman Tongue Relishes “dream Job” After Signing New Three Year Contract

Worcs Paceman Tongue Relishes “dream Job” After Signing New Three Year Contract

Worcestershire's promising paceman Josh Tongue has signed a new three year contract with the County and said: "this is the dream job for me."

Tongue has been involved at New Road all the way from playing at Under-10 level as a six-year-old before graduating to the club's Academy.

He signed his first year professional contract last summer – a two year deal which began on October 1 2015 – after some promising performances for the Second Eleven and then made his first class debut against Oxford MCCU in April, returning 3-35 and 1-14.

Tongue then suffered a back injury which was expected to side-line him for 12 weeks but his determination to return as quickly as possible under the supervision of strengthening and conditioning coach Ross Dewar and first team physiotherapist Ben Davies meant he was back playing after just seven weeks.

Now the 18-year-old, who was this week included in the squad for the Specsavers County Championship against Northamptonshire at Wantage Road, has put pen to paper on a contract which will take him through to the end of the 2019 campaign.

Tongue said: "I'm so delighted to sign the contract. It's an amazing feeling. It is a big vote of confidence in me, especially with it being a three year deal.

"When I went into the contracts meeting, I was thinking I might get a one year contract and to get three years is brilliant.

"I was really chuffed and wanted to accept it straight away and now I want to repay the faith the club are showing in me.

"It is a big chance for me to establish myself in these next three years but I know there is a lot more hard work ahead.

"I've been involved with the club since I was a six year old kid and this is the dream job for me.

"I want to say a big thank you to all the coaches who have been a big influence so far.

"From the Academy days with Dolly (Damian D'Oliveira) and Gavin Haynes, now Elliot (Wilson), then into the Second Eleven with Kevin Sharp, plus Matt Mason all the way from my Academy days and also Bumpy (Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes), they have all been a great help to me."

Rhodes said: "We are delighted Josh has signed. He is definitely a player who not only has got ability but because of his special attributes, his height and the way he swings the ball, is definitely a bowler we are pretty sure should go well in first class cricket.

"He is not just one dimensional. He is also a decent bat. He's scored 150 playing league cricket and his work ethic is excellent.

"You have only got to see the way he has been rehabing from his injury to know that he has got a good work ethic. He's had this back injury, the type of injury that bowlers get, but it is excellent the way he has come back from that so early."

Tongue, who this week earned his first England Under-19s call-up for the summer series with Sri Lanka, becomes the 12th player since the tail-end of last season to sign either a new contract – and the third in the past fortnight.

Keeper Ben Cox (four years) and all-rounder George Rhodes (two years) have also recently committed their future to Worcestershire.