The Leys, Cambridge, has entered into a partnership with Northants County Cricket Club (NCCC) as the club’s new Satellite Academy in the Eastern region.
The school, which has a strong sporting heritage, is an ideal site for the new Northants Satellite Academy, which will provide facilities for the development of young players enrolled on the Northants Elite Player Pathway. Northants Cricket has a strong record of spotting and nurturing talent. The Academy has produced players that have gone on to play for their county and then country, including Monty Panesaar, Graem Swann and David Willey. Academy players gain useful playing experience, with all of them representing the Second XI at some time last season.
Academy Director, Phil Rowe, explained: “The need for us to mentor and develop young players on a regular basis is key to ensuring an effective pathway that could lead to a professional playing career. The geography of that part of the country sometimes inhibits regular trips to the County Ground so we were keen to develop a satellite ‘hub’.
“The Leys School is ideally placed for us to meet with young players and their families, to spot talent earlier and to support players. Their facilities are perfect to coach and develop skill over the winter months.”
The Leys has outdoor grass and artificial turf practice facilities, a purpose built two-lane indoor net facility with two bowling machines, a strength and conditioning area and fitness suite.
Phil Rowe and David Ripley, the club’s Head Coach, will provide support and direction for its cricket teams and further enhance its strong sporting reputation.
Phil Rowe continued: “The partnership is up and running already. We have just signed Andrew Bramley to our Academy, a year 11 pupil of The Leys who performed admirably in the Bunbury Festival. The school’s facilities are ideal and whilst it is still important for young players from across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Huntingdonshire and right across the eastern counties to visit the county ground occasionally so as to feel part of the Northants set-up, the opportunity for additional, regular training at The Leys is going to benefit all.”
Richard Kaufman, Head of Cricket The Leys, coaches for Northants on their Academy programme. He commented: “This is excellent news for The Leys and Northants Cricket. It gives Leys pupils a route into the professional game and helps Northants identify talent and nurture it through into first class cricket’. (mf)
The Leys was named in The Cricketer magazine’s inaugural list of the Top 100 cricketing secondary schools in England for 2016.