Townsend Praises Academy Staff


Published: 20th March, 2017

Surrey Academy Director Gareth Townsend has heaped praise on his staff – and the wider Surrey cricketing community – after the facility was awarded 100% in a recent ECB inspection.

“The recognition from the ECB on how we run our Academy gives us welcome feedback and confirmation that we are doing things right in the development of young players”, said Townsend.

“I am extremely fortunate to have a committed and passionate full time support staff including performance managers Richard Bedbrook and Tom Benge and performance administrator Dave Sheppard.

“On top of this our two Performance Centres, the Ken Barrington Cricket Centre at the Kia Oval and the Surrey Cricket Centre at George Abbot School in Guildford, managed by Jeremy Greaves and Katherine Robson, allow us to operate our programmes at the highest level.”


Surrey CCC Performance Manager Tom Benge

Bedbrook, a former captain of Wiltshire, has been with Surrey for over ten years and was recently also given the extra responsibility of being Head Coach for the Surrey Stars, the club’s team that are now preparing to enter the second season of the Kia Women’s Super League.

All of Benge, Greaves and Robson have played high level club cricket in Surrey, with Greaves a former captain of Guildford CC; Benge a former Spencer CC top order batsman and Robson a seamer who operated for a number of years for the Surrey Ladies.

Expanding his recognition to those beyond the employment of Surrey CCC, Townsend continued: “We are also thankful for the ongoing work done within the wider cricketing community of Surrey clubs, schools – and our coaches operating at county age group and performance levels. This work is invaluable and without it we would not be able to achieve the standards that we aspire to.”

Surrey Stars Head Coach Richard Bedbrook

Surrey Stars Head Coach Richard Bedbrook

With 13 of 23 players in the Surrey CCC first team squad graduates of the Academy, Townsend was also quick to praise the role performed by Director of Cricket Alec Stewart and Head Coach Michael Di Venuto in helping players make the huge leap from Academy to professional squad.

“The professional coaching staff, in particular Alec Stewart and Michael di Venuto, are very supportive in progressing Surrey players of the highest standard. The fact that our first team squad has a higher percentage of home grown talent than ever before is testament to the club’s philosophy and desire to produce from within.

“Ollie Pope’s selection in the semi final of last year’s Royal London One Day Cup was a great example for all young players in our system that if you’re good enough you will be given opportunities at the county club.”

Looking to the future, the Academy Director concluded: “The standards that Surrey are setting themselves in regards to being a dominant club in English county cricket drive all of us within the Academy and Performance department to keep improving and supplying high quality players for years to come – for Surrey and England.”

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