County calls for Fakenham cricketers

Fakenham and Great Witchingham cricket players are included in Norfolk's three-tier performance squad ahead of their winter training schedule, writes Phil Banyard.

Fakenham and Great Witchingham cricket players are included in Norfolk's three-tier performance squad ahead of their winter training schedule, writes Phil Banyard.

The performance squad concept was introduced by the county last year and has now been split into three categories.

The A-tier is for players seen as regular, consistent performers for Norfolk, while the B-tier contains players seen as potentially becoming regulars for the county in 2010. A third tier contains younger players who have been identified as having the potential to feature regularly for Norfolk over the next three years.

The A-tier includes Fakenham wicketkeeper Stephen Gray and Witchingham's Carl Rogers, Sam Artherton and James Spelman.

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In the B-tier is Witchingham wicketkeeper Ben Harvey and in the C-tier are Fakenham's Joe Pipkin and Angus Stuart with Witchingham's Tom Collishaw.

County player/coach Chris Brown said: “Several young players made their debuts for the first team last year and we wanted to identify players further down the line who, in two or three years' time, with the right training, will be ready to come in. We are looking at the long term.

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“There should be a natural progression, right from the Under-10s upwards. For example, if a player does well in the Under-19s and in the league, he can expect to get a game with the Development side. For me it creates a clearer player pathway to the senior side.”

All of the 33 players named have been invited to winter training, which begins at Taverham Hall School on Sunday, January 24.

Brown also confirmed that pace bowler Bud Bailey, who was released by Northamptonshire at the end of last summer, had been invited to attend with a view to playing for Norfolk next season.

Batsman Jonathan Trower, who joined Norfolk last year but lost his place to teenager Sam Arthurton, is unlikely to return next summer.

Brown added: “When we left Jonathan out for Sam last year we decided we were going to look at younger, local players and our batting line-up now looks extremely strong.”

Norfolk County Cricket Club Performance Squad 2010

A-tier players: Carl Rogers (Great Witchingham, captain), Chris Brown (Horsford, player/coach), Chris Borrett (Norwich, vice-captain), Martin Addison (Vauxhall Mallards), Sam Arthurton (Great Witchingham/Essex Academy), Paul Bradshaw (Vauxhall Mallards), Michael Eccles (Swardeston), Stephen Gray (w/k, Fakenham), Ben Patston (Norwich), James Spelman (Great Witchingham), George Walker (Swardeston), Trevor Ward (Leicester Ivanhoe).

B-tier players: Harry Bush (Norwich), Ben Harvey (w/k, Great Witchingham), Oliver Higenbottam (Norwich), Rob Purton (Vauxhall Mallards), Darren Smith (w/k, Horsford), Sam Thelwell (Swardeston), Addam Todd (Downham), Ashley Watson (Norwich), Aaron Watson (Norwich).

C-tier players: Angus Barton (Vauxhall Mallards), Kieron Bunting (North Runcton), Luke Caswell (Horsford), Tom Collishaw (Great Witchingham), Jeremy Elliott (Norwich & Coltishall Wanderers), Peter Lambert (Swardeston), Joe Pipkin (Fakenham), Ollie Stone (Vauxhall Mallards/Northants Academy), Angus Stuart (Fakenham), Michael Warnes (Cromer), Nathan Perry-Warnes (Horsford), Patrick Yates (Downham).

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