Promising young duo handed chance to impress County
GLOUCESTERSHIRE have handed academy scholarships to two promising young bowlers.
JJ Dilley, a 17-year-old spinner from Clifton College, and 18-year-old Cardiff UCCE paceman Scott Phillips have been on trial at Nevil Road for a number of weeks.
Both have now been taken on by the academy and will be enrolled on the summer scholarship programme.
The County's academy director Owen Dawkins said: "I am delighted that we have been able to add JJ and Scott to our academy.
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"In JJ's case we've been looking for a left-arm spinner with potential for a number of years now to add to what is an already impressive array of talented spinners we currently have coming through the academy.
"This winter we have had two off-spinners, Tom Shrewsbury and Miles Hammond, away with England Under-19s and left-arm Chinaman bowler Kieran Smith away with England Under-17s.
"So JJ's addition will give us great competition.
"In Scott's case I watched him bowl for his club side two years ago and was impressed with his potential. I was not surprised when shortly after that Glamorgan took him on to their academy.
"Unfortunately for him things haven't quite worked out there, but a fresh start is sometimes the best thing and we are delighted that he has joined our academy.
"Over the past four years we have had great success in developing our young quick bowlers through our system onto the pro staff and we hope Scott can follow this path.
"As well as being in our academy, both players will be on our Summer Scholarship programme.
"This programme is a chance for us to take a longer look at our academy players on a day-to-day basis, along the lines of an apprenticeship.
"The players who are on the programme are still in education, and once this has finished for the summer they usually spend around six to ten weeks with us.
"They come in and train with the professional squad, try to force their way in to the second XI and in some cases even make their first XI debut, as happened to Craig Miles and Matt Taylor in the 2011 season.
"Since establishing this programme in 2009 eight of the current professional staff have come through this system.
"We have found it very beneficial as it gives the players an opportunity to find out what it is like to train and play every day and see if it is for them.
"For us as a club, we are able to find out more about the players and their ability to perform and improve on a regular basis.
"We also find out more about their character and gain a better understanding of the players before making a decision on offering them a professional contract."