WORCESTERSHIRE have maintained their faith in producing home-spun talent by naming a young academy squad for the 2008 season.
Having drafted in Aneesh Kapil as a 12-year-old, academy chief Damien D'Oliveira has named Ledbury 13-year-old Jack Edwards in the new squad.
The New Road outfit have set-up satellite academies in Shropshire, Herefordshire, Worcestershire and the Black Country to discover the region's best talent.
"Jack is a left-arm seamer with a bit of pace and by bringing him into the academy we can monitor him over the next few years and try and develop him in the best possible way," said
"The academy lads have already started their winter programme and to be honest it is quite an intensive one too.
"They have fitness sessions twice a week, they see nutritionist, psychologist, career advisors.
"We also have someone coming in from the ECB to give them advice on how to manage their school work, social life and their cricket.
"In truth the academy boys are probably better looked after than the professionals."
As well as the normal winter programme, three of the Worcestershire academy players will head off for a 10-day spin clinic' in India in February.
Off-spinners Nitesh Patel and Neil Pinner are hoping to learn a few more tricks of the trade, while Matt Pardoe is hoping to pick up tips on how to bat against spin.
The three Worcestershire lads will be joined by three academy players from Nottinghamshire and six from Lancashire The New Road academy has had a good record in recent years with several players
going on to earn professional contracts at New Road.
Talented young wicketkeeper/batsman Steven Davies came through the Worcestershire ranks, while Richard Jones, Josh Knappett and Mehraj Ahmed have all won senior deals for the 2008 campaign.
With the academy producing some of the stars for tomorrow, D'Oliveira is predicting Aneesh as a star of the future.
"He is an exceptional talent," D'Oliveira said. "A couple of years ago at the ECB Roadshow he was bowling at 71 mph.
"His highest score is 250 not out, last season in four matches he never lost his wicket and he always scored a century.
"Last season he was opening the batting for Wolverhampton's first team."
However, while D'Oliveria admits he has some of the most talented youngsters in the region, he says that it is down to the individual on how far they go.
"We have a system in place which we are very happy with," he said. "We have some very talented players, but it is down to them how far they want to go.
"Some of the players have what it takes to go all the way, and some unfortunately don't go on and build on what they have achieved."
The County's academy squad for 2008 is: Ben Cox, Brett D'Oliveira, Jack Edwards, Elliot Green, Aneesh Kapil, Joe Leach, Jack Manuel, Sam O'Neill, Matt Pardoe, Nitesh Patel, Neil Pinner.