2008/9 Derbyshire Academy Launched

The 2008/09 Derbyshire Academy, which was launched at the County Ground tonight, is aiming to add to the four players who have already gone on to sign full-time professional contracts with the Club. Batsmen Paul Borrington and Dan Redfern, all-rounder Jake Needham and left-arm fast-bowler Atif Sheikh, all Academy graduates, will form part of the Phantoms full-time squad in 2009 and the newly inaugurated Academy members, Eddie Ikin and Tom Hamilton, are the latest to try to follow in their footsteps. Ikin, 15, is a seam bowling all-rounder who plays his club cricket at Ticknall Cricket Club while opening batsman Hamilton, also 15, is a product of Swarkestone Cricket Club. The two new members, plus the six remaining youngsters, make a total Academy intake of eight cricketers who will benefit from specialist coaching and development throughout the winter. This will range from lifestyle information and sports psychology through to technical work on their cricketing skills. In addition, fellow graduates - Staffordshire based fast-bowler Ed Jones, left-arm seam bowling all-rounder Ross Whiteley and wicketkeeping prospect Tom Poynton - have all penned summer contracts for 2009. A total of nine Academy products have played first-class or List A cricket for Derbyshire with left-arm seam bowling all-rounder Ross Whiteley becoming the most recent debutant in September 2008. Academy Director Karl Krikken said: “The two new players played a starring role for the Under 15’s team that performed brilliantly in finishing third in the ECB Under 15’s County Cup and therefore thoroughly deserve their opportunity on the Academy. “It is fantastic news for Derbyshire County Cricket Club that the Academy is producing first-class players and long may that continue. “The eight players on the current Academy now have an excellent opportunity to develop their game as they aim for a future in county cricket.” The Derbyshire County Cricket Club Academy was formed in 2003 and it is the pinnacle of the youth development system which is in place to develop first-class players of the future. County age-group squads are selected from Under 10’s onwards, leading to the Emerging Player Program and the Mini-Academies which are in place in both Derbyshire and Staffordshire. This system feeds the Academy which in turn is geared towards making Derbyshire as self-sufficient as possible in terms of producing first team cricketers. © Derbyshire CCC
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