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Central Sparks Academy Head coach Darren Franklin has been pleased with the progress made by his young side through the summer months and said its ‘great to see’ the players supporting each other.

While the Sparks senior squad have been competing in the Rachael Heyhoe Flint Trophy and Charlotte Edwards Cup, the academy has had some important matches where players have grown and shone.

The pathway has had some great moments in 2023, with Ellie Anderson and Charis Pavely making their first senior appearances for the club, while Meg Austin has had involvements around the first team. As well as those three, 16-year-old Davina Perrin has now been an ever-present in Lloyd Tennant’s first team, showing a clear way in which young players can develop and go through the ranks.

2023 has been a good year for the academy, not just with players getting chances elsewhere, but the games the team have been a part of, shows that there are more opportunities on the field for the younger age groups to thrive.

Recently, Franklin’s side competed in a regional festival at Millfield School and on the event, the coach said: “The academy competition is about creating competitive and challenging cricket, that allows players to demonstrate their skills.

“Across the competition, all players had an element of success and it’s priceless for their development.

“What they have been experiencing will help them to fall back on when they come under pressure.

“It’s been great seeing the girls support each other and compete together as a squad. Enjoying each other’s success and helping one another when adversity comes along.”

With the season reaching its final couple of months, Franklin hopes the team continue their development in a positive way, like they’ve been showing this year.

He added: “Many of the players will reflect and understand individually where they were at their best and the areas, they feel they can develop.

“It’s key they continue to drive their game along, and this will support them in their development programmes moving forward.”


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