Somerset players named in Western Storm Academy and EPP

The new intake for the Western Storm EPP and Academy was announced recently, and the groups include several girls who have developed their skills through the Somerset Pathway.

To find out more, we caught up with Kieran Peters who is the Somerset CCC Pathway Coach and Women and Girls Lead.

Kieran said: “The Somerset Girls Pathway feeds into Western Storm, which includes their Emerging Player Programme (EPP) and their Academy every year and we have had girls selected onto both the programmes.

“Three girls have been selected onto the Western Storm Academy while another eight players from the Somerset Pathway have been selected onto the EPP, all of which is great news.”

The three Somerset players on the Academy are Jess Hazell, Lilly Hawkins, and Lola Harris, while the eight on the EPP are Katie Rowe, Verity Clark, Laila Moledina, Evie Dixon, Alice Bird, Ava Ojomoh, Emma Phillipson, and Brooke Whittaker.

Kieran talked briefly about each of the Academy players in turn.

“Jess Hazell has been re-selected onto the academy and is a keeper/batter who has been through the Pathway as a player and played multiple seasons of county women’s cricket for Somerset. She is currently at Exeter University.

“Lola Harris has also been re-selected onto the Academy and is a leg spinner who has played under 18s cricket for several seasons.

“Both Jess and Lola have been selected onto the Academy every year since the regional structure was implemented back in 2019/2020, which is a fantastic achievement for them both.

“Lilly Hawkins has transitioned from the Storm and Somerset EPP and been selected for an Academy spot. She’s a batter who can also keep wicket. She is on the Pathway and was one of the two captains of the Somerset Under 18 girl’s team last summer.”

He also expanded a little on each of those invited onto the Western Storm EPP

“Verity Clark is a bowling all-rounder, Laila Moledina is a batting all-rounder, Evie Dixon is an off spinner, Alice Bird is a pace bowler, Ava Ojomoh is a pace bowler, Emma Phillipson is a keeper/batter and Brooke Whittaker is a batter. Katie Rowe, who is a batter, was invited to observation days with Western Storm and as a result has been selected for her first year onto the EPP.”

“We are delighted for all the players and it’s really exciting to see lots of Somerset representation across both Western Storm programmes. We want to be the county that has got the Pathway that has the greatest number of girls on Storm programmes and the county that has as much representation as possible.

“The base of our pyramid on the Somerset Girls Pathway has massively widened over the past two years, the purpose of which is that we can hopefully identify more cricketers who have the potential to transition through our Pathway and move up through to those higher levels and start to work earlier with them and expose them to the way that we want to play.”