The Academy and Emerging Player Programme cohort have begun their 2021 campaign, with Academy Head Coach Richard Damms delighted to be overseeing a relatively new-look group of players.
“It’s very exciting, and it is very much a new squad of EPP lads,” Damms said. “Some of them are 17, some are 18 so they are not young in terms of age necessarily, but they are young in terms of experience. That is a direct result of Covid because they’ve missed an awful lot of cricket. They had very little cricket last summer and missed a full winter of training. We only got the lads back to train outside on 29th March and fortunately it was dry enough then at Weetwood, but it’s certainly an exciting time for them and us.”
With the restrictions hampering much of the Academy’s winter preparations, it is great that they players are now able to focus on playing cricket.
Damms said: “We’ve had as good a pre-season as we could have done, bearing in mind the restrictions.
“We played four practice matches. One against Woodhouse Grange, two against Durham and another against Lancashire, and we were outstanding in them. Last Saturday we played a really good Scarborough side and to be fair to them they beat us fair and square, we weren’t good enough.
“It is early days, the lads are finding out about each other, about the way we want them to play and how we expect them to practice and prepare for games as well.
“It is really exciting, but in terms of result, we’re not to fussed at this moment in time. Again, we don’t educate the lads in how to lose games, we care about winning because we want them to know how to win games of cricket and how to perform well, but it’s certainly not the only thing we are interested in. We are working towards getting some good wins and good results.”
The 2021 summer sees the introduction of a new competition to the cricketing landscape, The Hundred. The tournament, which takes place in July and August, will see at least nine of Yorkshire first team players competing in it, which will open up greater opportunities for some of the Club’s young players to take their next step up.
“There’s probably never been a better time, Covid excluding, to be a young cricketer at Yorkshire, or any other county for that matter,” Damms said. “Opportunities are going to come up. However, they’ve still got to be playing well and doing enough to deserve the opportunity.
“With everything that is going on, there should be some real opportunities for the lads to grab hold of and take their chance, but they’ve got to earn that.”
The Yorkshire Academy are in Yorkshire Premier League North action today, playing away at Woodhouse Grange. You can keep up to date with the latest score via the below link.