With the winter programme coming to an end, the evenings drawing out and players, manager and coaches itching to get outside, I thought this was the ideal opportunity to give an update of the cricketing year to date.
All of the eleven County Age Group sides have been working hard in their four indoor sessions. This year has changed slightly having introduced two outdoor sessions to the programme, with the aim of transferring what has been learnt inside into a controlled outdoor practice environment before the match programme gets under way.
There have been multiple focusses for the players this winter, one of the main challenges has been to ‘find a way’. As a coaching team, we have challenged the players in multiple situations and disciplines to find a way that works for them and can succeed. The processes and outcomes have been different for all players but from a coaching point of view it has been fantastic seeing them buy into the concept and improve each session in their own way. This can only benefit them as cricketers.
This year we introduced workshops to the winter programme, these were specific skill sets delivered by specialist coaches in five areas of the game, these areas were, fast bowling, spin bowling, wicket keeping, batting against spin and batting against pace.
The purpose of the workshops was to deliver a more in-depth specific session to the players that the County Age Group coaches and managers felt would most benefit. From a development point of view, it was a brilliant environment for the players to learn their skills working with experts in their field. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Jason Kerr, Andrew Griffiths, Dom Bess & Tom Abell for delivering these sessions and supporting the Devon pathway.
The Emerging Player Programme (EPP) got under way in January. Ten players were invited to be part of the 2018 cohort, 7 Boys & 3 Girls.
The EPP is designed for those players identified as having the necessary aptitude, attitude & athleticism to be potentially future elite cricketers. The programme in Devon focuses on developing players technically, tactically, mentally, physically and in lifestyle skills with the aim of producing a holistic player.
The purpose of the programme is to provide a pathway for the cricketers who have the potential to become members of a 1st Class County Academy or a Regional Development Programme.
Players are selected after the summer matches and they follow a programme of 1-2-1 and group coaching designed to give each player the best possible chance of reaching their potential. In Devon, the players are first considered for selection on the EPP after their U13 season where the players are subject to ongoing appraisal and their place on the programme is continually reviewed.
The Summer Programme gets underway towards the end of May, where all sides will be playing a number of matches, including a festival for the girls and the U10-U14 boys. The U14, U15s & U17s boys and the U15s & U17s Girls will be playing in the ECB cup competitions against the top sides in the region. All the County Age Group matches will be a fantastic opportunity for all the players to demonstrate their skills and how much they have developed against County opposition.
The Summer programme is an exciting time of year for all involved, one major area that usually goes unmentioned are the clubs and grounds that provide their facilities for the County Age Groups sides to use as their ‘home’ for the day. I would like to especially thank the clubs & Schools below for their support of County Age Group Cricket.
- Barnstable & Pilton
- Blundells School
- North Devon
- Shobroke Park
I would also like to thank the three clubs below who have already offered their grounds for 2019.
- Whitchurch Wayfarers
If you would like to offer your support to the County Age Groups with use of your ground for 2019, please email email@example.com
Finally, I would just like to wish all School, Club, District & County players all the best for the upcoming season.
Pathway & Coaching Manager