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The Canterbury Academy prepare for trip to Spain by using Kent's marquee at The Spitfire Ground with session led by Phil Relf and former Kent captain David Fulton


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The Canterbury Academy are off to Desert Springs in Spain as they aim to prove comprehensive school cricketers are as good as anyone else.

The school have featured alongside a host of independent and grammar schools in The Cricketer magazine’s Top 100 Schools for three consecutive years - some feat for a state comprehensive with no specific cricket facilities - and will battle it out against three public schools and another state school at The Cricketer Schools 1st XI Hundred, starting this Saturday.

The Canterbury Academy trained at Kent's Spitfire Ground as part of their preparations for their tour to Desert Springs
The Canterbury Academy trained at Kent's Spitfire Ground as part of their preparations for their tour to Desert Springs

Several former Kent players have provided expertise to the school over the last few years, including current head coach Matt Walker, Darren Stevens, James Tredwell, Simon Cook, Rob Key and Jason Weaver.

To boost the Academy’s preparations for Desert Springs, the club invited the squad to train at the county ground’s marquee at The Spitfire Ground, with the school’s director of sport - and former Kent Academy director - Phil Relf and ex-Kent first-team captain David Fulton leading the session.

Relf said: “The players embraced a fantastic opportunity to play on grass so early in their pre-season. I cannot thank the people involved in allowing us to train here enough.

“I am fully aware of the precious nature of a high-performance environment, so for us to be invited to train at the county headquarters was a real privilege.

“One of the positive aspects of Kent Cricket that I have personal experience of is how welcome I have always been made to feel when returning to the ground, and the entire staff have been very supportive to the school programme we have running at The Canterbury Academy.

“A special thanks to [director of cricket] Paul Downton and Matt Walker who oversee the first-team preparation and the fantastic ground staff, led by Adrian Llong, who do so much behind the scenes.”

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