THREE Swindon starlets have been chosen to represent Wiltshire Academy on their winter tour to Dubai next month.
Jake Goodwin, Giorgio Rigali and Jon Sore have all been included in the 12-man squad for the seven-day tour, which features five day-night matches against academies from the UAE, India and Pakistan.
The trio have all progressed through Swindon’s youth development system, with Goodwin – who at 14 has already represented the club’s first team - in particular tipped for big things in the regional game and perhaps even higher up.
Swindon’s youth development coach, Chris Mabberley, was delighted to see the three players rewarded for their dedication to the game.
He said: “It's the first time Swindon CC have had three lads touring with the Wiltshire Academy and for the club to be making up 25 per cent of the playing squad shows how much young talent we now have coming through. It's a proud moment for the club.
“Jon and Jake have both been with us since the age of seven and Giorgio since 11. All three eat, sleep and drink the sport and have all featured regularly for the club’s first XI. Age is no barrier at our club. If you're good enough, you play.
“All three will be an integral part of the club’s future success but should any of them go on to succeed at professional level, which is a possibility, then they would go with our blessing. “They would no doubt come back to play for their club at every opportunity if this situation arose.”
Swindon’s youth system is evidently flourishing, despite a difficult 2012 at senior level which saw the club relegated to the WEPL Wiltshire Division.
And Mabberley thinks this latest boost will have a positive knock-on effect for the junior element of the County Ground side.
“We are currently in a rebuilding phase at senior level but with the amount of home-grown talent coming through the ranks the future looks very bright,” he said.
“The last three years have seen the club's junior section enjoy huge success in the ECB national knockout competitions and this will start to impact on our senior sides in the near future.
“It just goes to show what can be achieved with home grown talent being coached properly from an early age. Jon, Jake and Giorgio are just three of numerous good young players we are developing and there will be more names to look out for this summer and beyond.
“We've always been proud of our youth section at Swindon and when you hear stories of other clubs trying to make approaches to our younger players then we must be doing something right. With our latest development plan nearing completion, the club can look forward to a bright future.”