A YOUNG Worthing cricketer has been picked out by Sussex County Cricket Club as a possible star of the future.
Worthing Cricket Club’s Nick Oxley has been selected for the Sussex’s Emerging Players Programme where the county club look to develop local young talent.
It comes after Oxley, who has played in the county squad for four years, was named as Sussex’s under-12 player of the year at their annual awards evening last Friday.
The left-arm bowler will now, along with the 12 others that have been selected for the programme, receive specialist weekly coaching and training from the Sussex coaches.
He will follow in the footsteps of Sussex and England star Matt Prior, Mike Yardy, Chris Nash and Joe Gatting, who have all come through the youth ranks at Hove, as the club look to develop local talent for the future of the club.
Twelve-year-old Oxley makes up a group of 13 selected from the programme all aged between 12 and 15 as the Sussex coaches look to help them gain a place in the academy when they turn 15.
Nick’s dad Stan is delighted for his son having been named in the programme and also over the moon with his player-of-the-year award.
He said: “To be picked out as player of the year is quite an achievement. To be told you’re the best 12-year-old cricketer in Sussex is just amazing and we’re very proud.
“He is captain of his Worthing team and ever since he was young, all he has wanted to do is play cricket.
“The kids all have a big chance, when you look at some of the players that have come through the ranks at Hove, like Matt Prior, it’s a really good opportunity.
“He needs to take that opportunity now, though. There is lots of hard work and effort ahead, but he knows that as it has taken lots to get here already.
“Nick has a large family and we are all delighted for him. The thing is now is not to get too carried away. We need to keep his feet on the ground and make sure he doesn’t get too big-headed, but he’s not that sort of kid, anyway.
“They are all going to Abu Dhabi next month for a training camp so it is a really big thing going on.”
The young bowler also plays for Worthing 4th team and despite the age gap in people he’s playing with and against, finished the season as the leading wicket taker.
The up-and-coming player picked up his player-of-the-year award last Friday in an awards evening at The Probiz County Ground, in Hove, which had well over 400 parents, relatives and friends of all the players involved in attendance.
Sussex’s Will Adkin and Ben Brown, were on hand to give out the awards, fairly apt as the pair had also graduated through the youth and academy system.
Oxley will now start training with the programme in November where he will get one-to-one training twice a week, physio and gym work, along with coaching for the mental side of the game.
Stan added: “Hopefully, Nick is a star in the making, as it is about time his town had another star.”