EXMOUTH are poised to complete the signing of last season’s Devon U17 captain Billy Rudolph for the Premier season ahead.
Rudolph, who started out with Yarcombe as a youngster, has been part of the Ottery St Mary success story in recent seasons.
The 18-year-old all-rounder, was star man in 2105 with 813 league runs and 26 wickets as Ottery won the old C Division.
Last summer Rudolph bagged 15 wickets and made 316 runs as Ottery made sure they stayed put in the B Division following promotion.
Ottery were the first team from the former East Devon League to reach the B Division and stay there longer than a season since it merged with the Devon Senior League in 2001.
Rudolph was Devon U17s’ leading bowler with 18 wickets at 15 runs each last summer.
He also chipped in with 339 runs, taking tons off Hampshire and Gloucestershire, and as the team’s prime all-rounder was named player of the year.
Ottery always knew Rudolph would feature on the radar of Premier clubs sooner or later – and have been expecting an approach for him for some time.
Rudolph has started pre-season nets with his new team-mates and has already impressed Exmouth captain Richard Baggs.
“Billy is a strong batter and his medium pace, line-and-length bowling exactly what we need in the middle overs,” said Baggs.
“Bringing Billy to the club is another massive step towards getting the average age of the side down.
“We aren’t the youngest side or the most agile in the field for that reason.
“With Billy here now, Dan Pyle and Fin Marks too, we are developing the nucleus of a younger team to take the club forward.”
Baggs has also been keeping an eye on the home-grown talent, notably keeper-batter Louis Morison, who excelled for Devon Under-15s on last month’s tour to South Africa.
Morison topped the batting stats in South Africa with 226 runs in six innings at an average of 44.80.
“Louis is definitely another one for the future,” said Baggs. “The intention this season is he will keep wicket and bat in the top four for the 2nd XI to continue his personal development.”