Dillon Pennington is aiming to emulate fellow pacemen and Academy products Josh Tongue, Pat Brown and George Scrimshaw in making a first team breakthrough with Worcestershire CCC this summer.
Pennington says he has taken much confidence from his performances for England Under-19s in the ICC World Cup this winter and then being awarded his first professional contract by the County – a two year deal which comes into effect from next October.
The 19-year-old knows there is plenty of “healthy competition” amongst the crop of young bowlers at Blackfinch New Road and his initial aim is to try and cement down a regular second eleven spot and perform well.
But Pennington, who is currently on a Worcester University scholarship, is also ambitious to have his first taste of senior action as he continues to adopt the philosophy of ‘play your cricket (well) and things will come.’
Pennington, who plays Birmingham League cricket for Shrewsbury, said: “Playing in the World Cup was by far the best experience I’ve had so far.
“Playing against the best players in the world in your age group makes you feel a lot more confident in yourself.
“Then coming back to Worcestershire, and to know they want to take me on full-time, is also a really huge confidence boost.
“That feeling of signing the piece of paper (the contract) is definitely one I won’t forget.
“My first aim is to play a full season of second eleven cricket but I’d love to try and break into the first team this season, maybe in the white ball cricket and get a debut for the first team.”
Pennington added: “Do I take heart from Tongue, Brown and Scrimshaw breaking through? Definitely, I’d like to try and follow in their steps and do well like they did in the Seconds and hopefully break into the seniors.
“The way I look at and the way I’ve been told is ‘play your cricket and things will come’ and that’s definitely how it has happened, first getting into the Young Lions (England Under-19s) and then the contract with Worcestershire.
“If you do well, things will come. Hopefully that might happen as well this summer (with the first team) if I just concentrate on bowling as well as I can.”
*Read a full question and answer session with Dillon Pennington on the Worcestershire CCC website during the next few days.