A pair of teenagers from Bexley are dreaming of making the grade after being selected to join Kent Cricket Academy.

Wicketkeeper Oliver Robinson, 15, and seamer Ben Stock, 16, will join the centre which has produced 16 first-class players including several current Kent stars since its creation in 2003.

The pair will join Bromley CC’s Ranjit Singh at the Academy, who returns for a third year.

Hoping to follow in the growing crop of homegrown talent of Adam Riley, Sam Billings and Joe Denly in the first team, the duo impressed in county performance teams and club cricket to earn the call-up.

The duo started playing the game after attending a cricket course with Bexley district development officer Richard O’Sullivan.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Robinson won Sidcup CC player’s player of the year aged just 15 and impressed coaches in the Kent age group teams.

The Hurstmere School student said: “I had a great season with Sidcup and to be called up to the Academy means the world to me.

“It’s thanks to Richard O'Sullivan, my stepdad David Pask and Ray Willis who have helped me so much.

“I just want to score stacks of runs and take bucket-loads of catches and stumpings.”

The pathway from Academy to first team is clear - Academy gloveman Ryan Davies has earned a pro contract for next season after the departure of Ashes-winning keeper Geraint Jones.

Rookie paceman Stock’s game blossomed through practice in the garden with his grandfather and in the age group teams at Bexley Cricket Club.

He will work with former England stars Mark Ealham and Martin Saggers on his bowling at the Academy based at the club’s home – The Spitfire Ground, St Lawrence.

The Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar student said: “It means a lot to me to be selected for the Academy squad.

“It is something I've aspired to since I got into the Kent set up. 

“My mum, dad and nan have been so supportive, running me everywhere and supporting me. My grandad helped a lot by coaching me in the garden as a boy.

“I want to get as many wickets as possible, learn from the coaches and eventually get into the Kent first team.”

Stock is aiming to repeat the feat of Sidcup scholar Sam Weller who signed professional terms at the club this summer.

High performance director Simon Willis oversees the Academy.

He said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Ollie and Ben to learn from professional coaches and continue their development.

“It is a challenge to combine cricket with their studies but they will have plenty of support from the staff to fulfil the promise they have shown so far.”

Meanwhile, Kent are expected to play several fixtures at The County Ground in Beckenham in 2015 with the club set to unveil new facilities including a 2,000-seater stand and indoor cricket centre to strengthen the grassroots game in metropolitan Kent.

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