How did you get involved in cricket initially?
I started by watching my dad and uncle play at the local village club. Then my mum and dad got me my own kit when I was little and I would carry it everywhere and play in the garden, ruining the grass and breaking stuff! I got started at a local club and soon after that got picked up by Essex Under 9s and then moved over to Chelmsford at around 13 and I’m still here now.
Why did you enjoy cricket so much?
I enjoyed the weekend routine of watching my dad and uncle. I would run around doing jobs and getting drinks for everyone. I also loved watching it on TV, especially England at The Ashes. Freddie Flintoff and James Anderson and Stuart Broad became my role models.
Why do you think club cricket is so important?
If you look at our Essex team, the majority have come through the club system. The Club cricket standard is very high, so it is good for not only Essex players, but players around the country to be involved with local clubs to inspire younger club cricketers. To be honest club cricket is the most enjoyable form of cricket you’ll play.
What made you want to be a part of Club Cricket Academy?
Because of my own journey through club cricket, I wanted to help show the younger generation that this pathway to becoming a successful cricketer is really achievable.
What do you enjoy most about coaching?
I like making sure all sessions are fun and that everyone is giving 100% with a good intensity as that is when the sessions will be the most rewarding. I want everyone to have a smile on their face and enjoy making progress, by setting achievable targets. I love fitness myself, but don’t want this to become a chore for the kids I coach so I like to involve fitness in my coaching in fun ways. For example you need to have a good level of fitness in fielding so I use drills like running around, races and challenges to beat previous scores, which make you more motivated. The kids don’t realise it is actually fitness, they just chuck themselves into it and love it. With the older cricketers or the ones taking it more seriously I encourage fitness and conditioning to prevent injury, but with the younger ones I just want to keep it fun and set themselves up for a nice future in cricket wherever that may be.
How does Club Cricket Academy benefit the local community?
There’s never been this sort of system throughout the clubs – everyone was doing individual things, but this brings them all together. It allows clubs to develop their players at the same sort of rate and keeps a level playing field through having such accessibility to coaches. It allows you to work on technical ability with tailored and well-planned training that can only benefit the club system. Everyone will play against each other and learn from each other, which will enhance club cricket, not only in the men’s game but also as we continue to develop such a high standard of female cricketers over the coming years.
How would Club Cricket Academy have benefited you as a young cricketer?
I would have loved having the people I look up to coaching me. I would be star struck to be coached by professionals like Ryan Ten Doeschate. To be able to pick their brains about the things that keep you up every night allows you to improve as a cricketer from such an early age.
What advice would you give to any young aspiring cricketers?
Make sure you enjoy it – don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Let things happen, work hard, but don’t let the enjoyment leave you. When contracts are around and you are looking into doing it as a career then take it seriously and perhaps sacrifices will need to be made, but don’t let enjoyment leave you.