Shenfield High School

Two of Shenfield Cricket Academies brightest talents have secured places in their respective Essex CC age groups. Both of the boys made it through two phases of trials and into the main squads for the 2015 season. Matthew Smith, who plays for Chingford CC in the Essex Premier league, joined Shenfield specifically for the Cricket Academy. This decision has certainly been vindicated as Matt was noticed by the coaching staff at one of the Academies training sessions at the County Ground. Matt has also been put in contact with Connor Browne, the lead strength and Conditioning coach at Essex CC by Academy coach Richard Abson-Bennett. This link has helped Matt become fitter, stronger and is certainly one of the main reasons for his increase in pace.

Tom Ballington who has been on the fringes of the side for the past two seasons has been rewarded with a splendid 2014 season. He scored heavily in all formats and was one of the stand out batsmen when playing for Shenfield CC's 2ndX1. Tom also smashed his way to a school record of 152* in what was an AB type knock! Tom will form a key part of the U'17 academy side this year, as well as also being close to getting in the first X1, despite the fact he is only 15. Both boys will start training when they return from the Academies prestigious tour to Cape Town in early February. Whilst on tour the team will play three of the best boys schools in South Africa, including Bishops High School, which has the most, capped test cricketers!

Joe Parry who certainly has a bright future in the game is through to his final trial this coming Saturday (24th Jan). Poppy Timson and Mady Villiers are both training hard with the EPP squad as well as their respective age groups. Jack Potticary who has since left Essex will now be trialling the Glamorgan in April this year and will be heading off to Leeds University hoping to gain a place on the MCCU programme. In total there are 6 boys and girls in and amongst the Essex set up as well many more who will be heading off to University to play some top quality Cricket.

The Academy program is in its second year of operation and has a strong squad of 24. This year has seen the link with Essex CC develop and as a result of this, those that choose to work hard and dedicate their time to the programme will reap the benefits. The squad now train using the Essex facility once a month in post-Christmas months leading up to the season. The squad also enjoy a 6 week programme of intense S&C sessions with Connor Browne, who is the lead coach for the professional players. As well as these excellent weekly training sessions the new year 12 boys and girls are put through their level 1 (activators course) to enable them to give something back to the game.

Within the first 2 weeks of the season there are 10 games in as many days, including a Tour to Eastbourne. This tour includes fixtures against the prestigious Eastbourne College and the University of Brighton men’s 1stX1 who last season were competing in the BUCS premier league. The tour will also include a guided tour of the University, which is personalised to our team. All of these opportunities are provided to those who choose to study at Shenfield and specifically apply for the Cricket Academy programme. Other fixtures include Bancrofts, New Hall and Newham College as well as Robert Clack who are offering great Cricketing opportunities to their budding players.

Cape Town is now only 20 days away and below is a sneak peek into the finalised Itinerary!

If you are interested in joining the Academy then please contact with a cricketing CV and reasons for wanting to join.


Monday 16th

  • 8am wake up for breakfast in hotel
  • Team meeting to evaluate T20 performance – Identify focus areas for remaining games
  • Post-game function provided 
  • Return to Hotel – Down time in Lounge/TV area

Tuesday 17th

  • 8am wake up for breakfast in hotel
  • Team meeting to evaluate yesterday’s game
  • Walk to Waterfront to catch the sightseeing bus
  • Stop at Table Mountains between 8am – 12pm -  Summit and have lunch on site
  • Back on the bus to Camps Bay (beach) – Sunbathe/Beach cricket/Banter – Dinner at beach 
  • Return to Waterfront to have dinner if no yellow ticket
  • Walk back to accommodation - Down time in Lounge/TV area/call home

Wednesday 18th

  • 9am wake up for breakfast in hotel
  • Pre match swim
  • Post-game function provided
  • Return to Hotel – Down time in Lounge/TV area