Shenfield captain Ekers insists the future looks bright
- Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo
New Shenfield captain Ollie Ekers says the future looks extremely bright as the club use this season to bring through more youngsters.
The Chelmsford Road outfit have handed chances to plenty of youth players including Max Bear, Ollie Todd, George and Tom Ballington, with plenty of others already in the first team from last season.
And the skipper is keen to make the most of the club’s thriving colts section to improve rather than recruit from rival clubs.
“Obviously we’ve got the benefit this year of no promotion or relegation so it has given us an opportunity to try a couple of young players that are starting to push through,” Ekers said.
“A couple of them are playing age-group cricket at county level, so we’re definitely looking to the future as it seems to be the most sustainable way to go, and with our colts section the way it is – it’s growing every year to the extent we’re having to put people on waiting lists.
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“It’s good we can give the youngsters a taste of essentially Premier League cricket, so it’s a good experience and gives them an insight into good senior level cricket.
“The future definitely looks bright for us and when you look at the twos as well, there is a couple of 14-year-olds playing.”
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Shenfield lost by 80 runs to Billericay at the weekend after losing the toss as their opponents scored 296-2 thanks to Essex staffer Paul Walter hitting 166. They reached 216-4 in reply with Tom Ballington top scoring on 94 not out.
“It happens sometimes, especially when you’re playing against players of that calibre, they have the ability to take the game away from you which he (Walter) did,” said Ekers.
“The wicket was flat, didn’t offer too much for bowling, and he took full advantage of that. There was plenty of positives to take away and plenty of points we can improve going forward. It was a bit of learning curve for us.”
They welcome Hornchurch, who feature former captain Roy Smith, on Saturday as they search for their first win of the season.
“We had a couple of pre-season friendlies against them, we played a couple of 2020 games, one of which we won,”said Ekers.
“The boys have come up against them before and they’re raring to go and put the things right that we spoke about last Saturday.”