Benny can begin adynasty
'EXCEPTIONAL' Benny Ellis can help usher through a glut of young talent at Charlton Kings, believes first team captain Neal Mitchell.
Talented batsman Ellis only turned 15 in July – but is already a mainstay in the Ryeworth Fields' club's senior line-up.
Ellis has been nominated for The Citizen and Gloucestershire Echo Young Sports Personality of the Year award.
And club skipper Mitchell has backed the technically-proficient young star to be a contender to lift the crown.
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Ellis racked up 525 runs at an average of 40.38 in 15 first-team matches for Charlton Kings this summer, blasting a top score of 107.
Mitchell believes his success can now pave the way for more talented youngsters to break into Charlton Kings' senior set-up, as their busy junior section bears fruit.
Ellis joins swimmers Alex Seymour and Sophie Hall as the early nominations for the Young Sports Personality prize.
The categories in our popular annual sports awards have been revamped this year, with specific categories for rugby and football already proving popular.
But after a summer of busy cricket action for county clubs there will surely be a host of young names in the running for this particular award.
Ellis is the first cricketer to receive a Young Sports Personality nomination though, leaving his club captain proud of the recognition.
Mitchell explained: "It's excellent that he's been nominated – hopefully he'll go on to win it!
"Ever since we brought him into the team he has never let anyone down.
"He has performed extremely well in his age-group side as well: they completed a treble of titles on Sunday to round off a fantastic season.
"I know Benny will be delighted with this, and quite rightly. He's had an exceptional season and already he is someone who excels at the standard.
"He is a gifted batsman and someone you just have to let get on with it, because he's already that good."
Charlton Kings suffered relegation from the Gloucestershire Division despite a battling campaign.
But Mitchell believes that will only allow more avenues for young players to break into senior ranks next term, building club strength in the long-run.
He continued: "While it was a frustrating season in many respects at first-team level, ending in relegation, there are plenty of bright sparks at the club.
"Benny leads what could be an excellent line of talent coming through the club.
"He is the first of a good group of talented players from the Under-15s in what's a thriving junior section at the club now.
"Next season a few more of his age-group team-mates will be ushered into the senior ranks, and that bodes extremely well for our future.
"I'm proud of the set-up we have now, that allows youngsters to come through and hopefully impress at the top level in the club.
"Maybe parents undecided where to send their sons for cricket will see this and think of us.
"I certainly hope it vindicates what we're doing, and I think it can give the whole club a boost really – to show we're heading in the right direction."