I was delighted when three of our 2014 Academy Squad received professional contracts recently. The philosophy of our Academy is to produce players capable of playing and performing for Lancashire’s First Team, and for Haseeb Hameed, Saqib Mahmood and Matt Parkinson to do that at 17 years-old is an outstanding achievement.
Their respective promotion and that of Rob Jones to a Scholarship has meant some changes to our Academy numbers from what was an outstanding group of young players. Matt Hughes has earned a place at Oxford University and started there in September, while Tom Steele is playing cricket in Australia.
As a result, we have a smaller group this time with four new selections and four returning.
The four new players are;
Josh Bohannon who had an outstanding year in 2014 and was voted our Young Cricketer of the Year. His consistent performances in the one-day matches for the under 17’s started his season well and in the 2-day competition he began with a century against Durham. He followed this with a match-winning 60 against Cheshire and an outstanding double century in the National Semi Final semi-final against Staffordshire.
Tom Lawson is a one of the younger players inducted this year, at 15 years of age. He’s a left-arm medium-fast bowler with the ability to swing the ball back into the right hander. He comes from Burnley CC who continue to produce exciting young talented cricketers and deserve real credit for this. He’s a strapping lad for his age and with the right sort of direction from us can only get better in this environment.
Sam Oldham is another 15 year old who has a really strong track record as a youngster, as a batsman who also bowls. He was involved in the North of England at Bunbury, and has done well at our representative younger age levels. He is yet to fully take part with us because as with many young cricketers who grow very quickly he has had back issues. These are currently being managed by our medical team.
Calum Turner is a left hand opening batsman from Urmston who has had a strong season in the Cheshire Premier League, finishing in the League’s top four of the batting averages. A strong attacking top order bat he enjoys pace on the ball and has demonstrated his qualities in this area.
Of the four returning players, Emma Lamb is now an England Academy player and her progress last year was outstanding. Her potential for further International recognition is quite high.
Danny Lamb made an impact in our 2ndXI last year, taking his first five-wicket haul and also contributing with the bat. If he shows that level of consistency on a regular basis he will get more games and I’m looking forward to seeing how he progresses.
James Drummond has matured into a solid top order batter. Having initially been selected from Cheshire’s Youth System he continues to represent them at age group level. His hundred against Lancashire’s under 17’s last year was a stand-out performance and should give him real confidence for next year.
Harry Dearden is an exciting left handed top order bat who has been in the England Development Programme for the last two years. He made a real impact with us two years ago and despite some frustrations with injuries and consistency with form he remains a player with real potential.
This process recognises players’ development and potential for next level involvement. So I am delighted for Tom Bailey that he has made the step up to our professional ranks for next season.
We have awarded three Scholarships to players for 2015.
Rob Jones moves up from the Academy, having played for England Under 19’s last season, and is spending the winter playing in Melbourne. Fast bowler Cole Hayman joined us midway through last season and continues for a second season. And finally left arm seam bowler Toby Lester, who is in his final year at Loughborough University, joins us when his studies allow. He impressed playing against us for Loughborough University last year and he’s been in our representative programme as a youngster.
John Stanworth, Academy Director, November 2014
Photos: Simon Pendrigh