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Cricketer’s Talent Impresses County Coaches

A student who was named Best Bowler by Northants Cricket has joined an elite training programme for players who have shown exceptional promise.

Year 9 student Rhys Alford has been playing for the county club for four years and recently, was invited to join its Centre of Excellence and Emerging Players programme.

He was invited to attend extra training sessions with some of the most highly-qualified coaches in the country and he has been learning more about the game and his technique thanks to the intensive training.

He was also presented with a trophy from Northants Cricket after he was voted Best Bowler.

Rhys said: "The Centre of Excellence training gives more in-depth analysis of your game and it's more personal. There are cameras set up so you can look at how you play. You can also do more advanced stuff.

"It's been fun and you get to play with the more talented players. The coaches are honest with you and tell you if you've played badly or well.

"What I enjoy about cricket is that it gives you a confidence boost every time you achieve something and you feel like the man of the moment."

Rhys said he has been playing cricket ever since he's been able to because his family are heavily involved in the sport.

He plays for Loddington and Mawsley Cricket Club and it was one of the coaches there who suggested that he could play at county level.

Now he plays on Sundays and trains during the week - and he even manages to find time to play football for the Ise Lodge too.

One of Rhys' personal highlights so far was a cricket match against Essex, one of the best sides in the country.

He said: "They were smashing us to pieces but then I got a hat-trick which meant the game ended in a draw."