James Hildreth is now into his second year as batting consultant on the Somerset Academy and Emerging Player Programme, something he is really enjoying.
Hildy has been part of the Somerset set up ever since he first played for the County age groups at Under 10 level and went on to make his senior debut back in 2003.
Since then the 32 year old has been a mainstay of our top order batting, appearing in 211 First Class matches in which he has scored 13,825 runs, including 37 centuries and 63 half centuries with a best of 303 not out.
Now thankfully back in training Hildy talked about his involvement with the younger generation of Somerset batsmen. “I’m currently working towards my Level 4 Coaching Award,” he said. “To achieve that you need to be actively coaching on a regular basis. I really enjoy getting involved with the youngsters at the Club and watching the next batters coming through the ranks. It’s really exciting for me to be able to work with the future Somerset batsmen and it seems to be working well because they’ve asked me to continue again this winter.
“Last winter I spent time working with most of the boys on the Academy but more with Tom Lammonby, Charley Reed and Eddie Byrom. I also did a few sessions with George Bartlett who has now come onto the Somerset staff. There’s a new intake this year so I’m looking forward to getting to know them and working with them.”
Hilly added: “I love seeing the young hungry players coming through and that excites me. If I can help them on their journey to becoming professional cricketers then that is great.”
In 2016 James played in every Specsavers County Championship match and topped 1000 runs to end with an average of 48.19, which included his heroic 135 playing with a fractured ankle in the last game of the season.