There will be a change to the way boys are trialled for the county age group teams starting this winter.
At under 11s, there will no longer be a trial period or winter squad for that age group. They will participate in fixtures against other county teams but the teams will be selected based on performances within the Area Cricket Programme (ACP). It will be an open team policy to allow as many of our under 11 boys as possible to experience County fixtures. The new look under 11 county development squad will be managed by coaches from the ACP.
For the U14 Boys, there will be a pre season tour which will allow the squad to be ‘match’ ready for the ECB competition. Players not selected for the summer squad will be automatically selected for a county development squad which will attend the Taunton Festival, which will be managed by coaches from the Area.
The trial period will now consist of four by one and a half hour sessions which will be structured as a county training session incorporating fielding, technical development and match play scenarios.
Commenting on the change, Mark Dekker, Community Cricket Officer (boys) said “At the ages of 10 and 11 it should not be about identifying stars, it is about young players learning to love and play the game. By restructuring the under 11 age group it gives clubs, coaches and the sport more time to keep young people involved and to nurture and identify talent - the pressure of making Squads can come later.
Young cricketers develop and reach their potential at different times, and we need to give them time to do that. By opening up opportunities at under 14s, we can facilitate the late developers - we want to keep the door open for as long as possible for as many of our players as possible.
The trial period should not only provide an opportunity for the players to showcase their skills, it should also be a time where coaches can identify players that display good learning curves in an elite environment – cricket is as much about talent as it is about determination and coachability.”
Each age group will have criteria for the managers and coaches to work towards:
Under 11 - Play the game
Under 12 - learn the game
Under 13 - develop the game
Under 14 - understand the game
Under 15 - understand your game
Under 17 - prepare for performance
Jamie Clifford, CEO, said “Our Area Cricket Programme is a crucial part of the talent ID process for players across the county of Kent. It is the first rung on that ladder to hopefully see players go on to play for Kent and for England.
It is already reaping dividends and is run by fantastic people, some really good coaches and some great venues and it is the first opportunity to play in a competitive environment away from their club and their school and to be part of something bigger and we believe better in the Kent Cricket family.
It is vital that the Area Cricket Programme continues to deliver high quality programmes in order for the changes to the player pathway in Kent to achieve the desired outcomes”
For further information please contact Mark Dekker, Community Cricket Officer (boys) on firstname.lastname@example.org