Worcestershire CCC have finalised their 2016-2017 Academy intake – and it includes four newcomers.
Paceman Adam Finch and Matthew Davis and all-rounders Zain Hassan and Xavier Clarke – younger brother of Joe – will be part of the full Academy for the first time during the next 12 months.
They will join forces with Jack and Josh Haynes, Jack Charters, Dillon Pennington, Zen Malik and Josh Dell who are returning for a further year as members of the intake.
The new quartet and the other Academy members will be put through their paces at least three times a week during the winter months by Academy coach Elliot Wilson or other county coaches.
Then next season they can expect to play plenty of cricket at Under-17 level, with the development squad, the full Academy side and then graduating to the county's Second Eleven.
Wilson admits selecting this year's intake has been "a more challenging process" compared to choosing the members of the past two groups.
He said: "We have been blessed the last three years with such a good group of players that they stood out a mile.
"This year I enjoyed doing a lot more sifting through players to try and work out which players to put in which programmes.
"It has been a real challenge for me and hence the reason it has taken a little bit longer to get to this point than it has done in previous years.
"We had some choices to make, not only about personnel but the direction in which we were going to try and take this programme.
"We could have gone really young with it and almost have gone with the next generation of Academy players "We've ended up with 10 players on the programme and we are quite excited really.
"That list includes two Haynes', Josh and Jack returning, Jack Charters returning, Dillon Pennington returning, Josh Dell and Zen Malik returning.
"That is complimented by Adam Finch from Himley CC, who is part of our Under-17s, Matthew Davis who went to the Bunburys and Best Of Bunburys festival this year, Zain Hassan, who went to Bunburys, and Xavi Clarke who went to Bunburys-Best Of Bunburys and has just been selected in the England Schools Cricket Association Under-16 trip to Sri Lanka."
In terms of the programme mapped out for them, Wilson said: "We probably have the opportunity to do four contacts (sessions) a week of which lads will do two during the week and they will all do Sunday together.
"The contacts during the week will either be with the coaches at Malvern College or with myself, when I'm going to see them in their schools, or a couple of them will see Paul Pridgeon (at the Shropshire satellite academy).
"All of them can do more but we ask as a minimum requirement, two sessions a week plus Sundays and that works out to about nine hours of actual hall time.
"They will play a lot of cricket during the summer whether it be during the week or at the end of the week for either their county, which in Xavi's case is Shropshire, or whether it be for our Under-17s, our development squad or the Academy itself.
"A lot of these guys will play second team cricket as well in this coming year."
WORCESTERSHIRE 2016-2017 ACADEMY INTAKE
Wilson has also announced the members of the 2016-2017 elite players group which is the step just below the full Academy intake.
The six youngsters selected are:
Wilson said: "They are six lads who are on the fringes of or are in and around the academy programme and will do a lot of work with the academy programme."
*Wilson will be profiling the four newcomers on the Worcestershire CCC website during the next few days.