Bertie Michael joins the Academy

Bertie Michael is the latest young player to join the Somerset Academy.

We spoke with him recently to discuss his career to date and to find out a little bit more about him.

The 15-year-old is a left-handed top order batter, who has been a pupil at King’s College, Taunton since joining in Year 9.

“I started playing cricket with my Dad,” he explained. “Almost as soon as I could walk he used to throw me balls in the living room at home to catch and that progressed into the garden and it just went on from there.

“I joined a club called Collingbourne Ducis and I played there for a couple of years before we moved to Gloucester. There I started to play for Gloucestershire Under 10s and Cheltenham Cricket Club. I got onto the Gloucestershire EPP when I was 12 but I then moved to King’s and started to play for Somerset Under 14s.”

Bertie told us how he performed last season.

“I had a good year in 2023,” he said. “It was great fun and I loved the opportunities that I got. One of the highlights was being part of the King’s Under 15 side that won the National T20 Knock Out Cup at Arundel. That was pretty special.

“I also went to the Bunbury Festival and scored a hundred in one of the games against London and East. In the weeks leading up to Bunbury I broke my thumb, so to get a hundred in my last innings was pretty pleasing. Altogether, I think I’ve scored seven centuries and I would think that the one I scored at Bunbury was my best one so far.

“I play my club cricket for Taunton Deane, and for the majority of the season last summer I was in the Second XI. Then I was lucky enough to play a few First XI games. The first two were rained off but I did get to bat and then in the third game I played against Bath away and I got 20.

“I think the bowlers at that level have better plans and execute them better, so you have to have clarity on how you are going to score your runs. I actually like to face pace when I’m batting and find it easier when the bowling is quicker.”

Bertie came onto  the Academy half way through 2023, so how did it help him with his cricket last season?

“I think it helped me because I’d got much more training, especially at the start of the season so I’m really grateful for the opportunity. I’m really enjoying being on the Academy. The coaches are great and I’m loving it.”

Bertie talked about how much time he dedicates to cricket.

“I train every day except on Saturday’s when I have a match. With the Academy, I’m involved on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Then there’s school cricket on Monday and Friday plus age group training on Sunday, so I’m kept pretty busy with cricket, which I’m very happy about.”

Looking ahead to 2024, Bertie said: “Hopefully I will get chosen to go to the Super 4s, play for Taunton Deane First XI and score lots of runs.”