Nine girls aged between 15 and 18 have been selected on Lancashire’s emerging players programme for 2015. Along with seven boys, Georgia Holmes, Nalisha Patel, Rachel Dickinson, Hannah Jones, Eleanor Threlkeld, Shachi Pai, Laura Jackson, Erin Staunton-Turner and Lucy Staunton-Turner have all impressed during different programmes at Emirates Old Trafford.
The 16 players will now receive support through one-on-one and group coaching as well as strength and conditioning, fielding and a pre-season camp heading into the summer. Their progress will be monitored through a player development document, setting their own goals to achieve along the way.
In recent years Kate Cross has advanced through the ranks at Lancashire and developed into an England Women international. The 23-year-old seamer, who became the first girl to play for Lancashire Academy, told ecb.co.uk: “It was quite a big deal when I was put on to the Academy. At the time I didn’t see how big a deal it was because for me I was getting to play cricket at a better level. That was the point in my career where I realised I could probably go further. If I had not been accepted into the Academy I probably would not have got to where I am now.”
Passing on some advice to the nine girls, Cross added: “You have got to embrace it. You have got some brilliant coaches, I had John Stanworth and Stephen Titchyard when I was involved and they were the first highest-qualified coaches I had. It is brilliant for them because there is nine of them together, so that is really nice. Hopefully they will be able to work with each other and feed off each other and help each other. For me I was on my own in there and had to fend for myself. It is really nice that they are going to be together in it.”
“Listen to the coaches, they are going to push them in the right direction, so it is brilliant.”