[lead]Members of the current Gloucestershire professional squad will help develop the next generation of county stars.[/lead]
Senior players including Chris Dent and Tom Smith are set to lend a hand on the Gloucestershire Cricket Board’s (GCB) Emerging Players Programme (EPP).
The 2015 Royal London One-Day Cup winners will assist GCB head of performance Tim Hancock with the new EPP Development Sessions – a set of specialist workshops which sit underneath the main programme.
Dent (pictured below) – who made 1243 First Class runs last year, will coach up and coming batsmen while Smith will work with young spinners.
Glos bowling coach Mark Thorburn will work with the seam bowlers and there will also be specialist sessions for wicketkeepers.
The EPP Development Sessions will be offered to around 25 young players who been selected based on their performances in county age group cricket last season. The main 2016/17 EPP squad is made up of five players who will receive weekly coaching sessions throughout the winter. It is made up of Under 16 players Matt Brewer (Bristol) and Harry Senior (Dymock), Under 15s Henry Findlay-Wilson (pictured) (Langford), Natasha Wraith (Frenchay) and Under 14 Will Naish (Frocester).
Tim Hancock said:
“The EPP continues to be an important part of the pathway for developing our young cricketers and it is great to have involvement of Owen and the professional players.
“The fact that these sessions are less regular will help us to see which players are able to take on information and put it into practice away from us which is an important part of their development.”
The EPP has proved an important stepping stone for a growing number of players who have gone on to win places on the Gloucestershire Academy and in the professional squad.
In 2016, EPP graduate James Bracey made his First Class debut for Gloucestershire, Patrick Grieshaber played his first one-day and T20 matches and Ollie Currill was picked in the first team squad. Former George Drissell and Joe Dryell both made their second team debuts while Dominic Hooper, Josh Smith and Sam Groves were part of the Academy.
Tim said: “It is fantastic to see the growing number of players who are coming through our age groups and the EPP and going on to enjoy further recognition with Gloucestershire.”
Ex-Gloucestershire batsman Tim will also be running the North-Wiltshire EPP programme as part of a new cross-border working partnership.
The 2017 Gloucestershire Girls EPP squad will be announced in the next few weeks with sessions starting in January.