Counties look to the future with friendly match

Michael Loveder

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While England’s footballers were tackling Sweden in the World Cup quarter-finals, it was Surrey and Sussex who kicked off an initiative involving their younger cadets from the age of just eight.

Friendly county matches were arranged primarily for the counties’ relatively inexperienced potential. The underlying criteria was to introduce young players who had not previously participated in the County Championships.

When these young players do eventually officially represent their county it is hoped they will not be overawed by the experience. The friendlies also gave the counties’ coaches some pointers on where to focus their attention next.

The intention is that these friendly matches will be backed up by some joint coaching sessions which are planned to involve Surrey, Sussex and, in due course, Kent players, the constituent counties of the South East region.

Whilst the initiative is still in its infancy it is hoped it will lead to bigger and better opportunities for the region in the not too distant future.

The results saw Surrey A beat Sussex A 8-2, while Surrey B and Sussex B drew 5-5. Sussex A took consolation in beating Surrey B 6-4 and Surrey A beat Sussex B 8-2. To end the day, Surrey A beat Surrey B 9-1.

Stand-out performances for Sussex came from John Strang (4/4) and Harry Yip (4/4) while for Surrey it was Jacob Archer (4/4) and Ojay Borah (3/4) with the girls Naziyah Hasan winning 6/6 and Caron Charles 5/6.

Additional photos from the initiative can be found on Flickr by clicking here

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