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HANNAH HARDWICK: ‘I feel the first part of this season I have played considerably better.’


Central Sparks academy player Hannah Hardwick admits, after a slight struggle, the start of the 2023 campaign has gone well for her, and the bowler feels she’s played ‘considerably better’ in the first part of this season.


19-year-old Hardwick is an ever-present in Darren Franklin’s academy setup and has produced some strong performances in the youth system this season thus far. However, it’s took her some time to get to this point.


Hardwick said: “My journey so far, the last year or so has been a linear one to say the least.


“I’ll admit I have struggled at points with certain things and that did impact my performances on and off the field.


“I have been feeling considerably better and I feel that’s now showing in my performances.”


Hardwick also hailed her squad, and the environment created around her at the Sparks.


She added: “Within the environment, it’s a real collective and I believe this puts me in the best position to take my game as far as I can this season.”


Along with recent Sparks debutants Ellie Anderson and Charis Pavely, Hardwick has been impressing in the academy side in the early months of the season as well as the likes of Meg Austin and Laura Smitten.


In the latest game for the youth team, Hardwick took 4 wickets, in a spell that ended (4-17) and again, Hardwick humbly reflects that onto her teammates.


She said: “I’m very fortunate to play within a team with such a talented crop of players. We have all set ourselves high aspirations this season, as a team and that’s shone through with the character we’ve displayed.


“I’m looking to replicate those performances to the best of my ability in both academy and second team games to prove myself as a reliable and key bowler.


“Each game brings a new opportunity for me to be hopefully doing that.”


Hardwick knows what she must do to earn a spot higher in the ranks with the Sparks, and the youngster is determined to do what it takes.


Her development is clear to see, and she has become a crucial player to Franklin and the academy team.


The 19-year-old added: “I want to make the most of the games I play in at the moment so that I have the best chance to grab the same opportunity that Ellie [Anderson] and Charis [Pavely] have done.


“For me, good performances come down to good prep. This goes across from the night before all the way to the warmups, before going out onto the pitch.


“Showing that aggression and drive and intent on how I want to play. I believe how you prep will reflect on how you perform.”

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