Talented players prepare for ICC Europe’s Emerging Players Programme

Wed, Mar 11, 2009 10:27 AM

Next week, eleven promising young cricketers will travel to La Manga Club, Murcia, Spain to take part in the ICC European Emerging Players Programme.

In its inaugural year the Emerging Players Programme, organised by ICC Regional Performance Officer Philip Hudson, aims to provide a comprehensive schedule of elite training for players who were not involved in the European Academy (held between 24 February - 6 March in Port Elizabeth, South Africa).

"The development of talented players at all levels is seen as one of ICC Europe's leading priorities, especially with many of our Member countries now participating in the Pepsi ICC World Cricket League competitions," said Hudson.

"We have brought together an extremely competent and knowledgeable coaching team that has experience in all areas of the game. Our first Emerging Players Programme promises to push the players hard and prepare them both physically and mentally as cricketers as well as individuals," he added.

The players, ranging in age from 18 to 22, originate from eight European countries, including Gibraltar, Jersey, Belgium, and lesser known Affiliate member countries such as Switzerland, Finland and the Isle of Man.

Joining Hudson at La Manga Club will be ICC Europe Elite Coach and Elite Referee Panel member Richard O'Sullivan; former Italy player Joe Scuderi; current Guernsey player and Performance Manager Jeremy Frith; and former Netherlands player and current Assistant Coach to the Netherlands team, Roland Lefebvre.

Lefebvre, who started his first-class cricketing career playing at Somerset before being signed by Canterbury (New Zealand) and Glamorgan, is one of the Netherlands' most successful cricketers having represented his country at five ICC Trophy tournaments (now renamed the ICC World Cup Qualifier) and two ICC Cricket World Cup tournaments. Alongside Peter Drinnen (national coach of the Netherlands team), Lefebvre has recently become one of Europe's first ECB Level 4 qualified coaches and it will be his role to work closely with the seam bowlers amongst this year's selection.

Lefebvre's focus for the six-day training programme is clear: "When working with new players for a short period of time my main focus will be to make the players understand their own game better," said Lefebvre.

"There will be no time to dramatically change technique. By creating more awareness and understanding of what they do we hopefully give them a stronger base to work from. Having the best young players together will hopefully push them on and the fact that they have to operate outside their comfort zone will challenge them in a positive way," he said.

The Emerging Players Programme runs from 16-21 March and will be followed by the European Centre of Excellence and the European Women's Academy in April.

2009 Participants:

Belgium - Jaime Farmiloe
Denmark- Taha Ahmed
Finland - Jonathon Scamans
Gibraltar - Chris Phillips
Gibraltar - Kabir Mirpuri
Gibraltar - Ross Harkins
Isle of Man - Max Stokoe
Jersey - Sam De La Haye
Jersey - Anthony Kay
Spain - Wajahat Ali
Switzerland - Julian Wessel

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