A FIFTEEN-year-old Monmouth cricketer has capped a golden summer by gaining selection for Glamorgan’s academy.

Harry Friend, a talented opening batsman, scored a remarkable 2,037 runs in 2018 and hit five centuries, including 106 not out against England Women at Loughborough.

Harry, a pupil at Monmouth School for Boys, wants to become a professional cricketer and follow in the footsteps of Old Monmothians Steve James and Jeremy Lawlor.

Harry has been working on his batting under the guidance of Monmouth School for Boys’ Director of Sport, Andy Jones, and former pupil, Steve James, who played Test cricket for England and captained Glamorgan.

Richard Almond, Glamorgan’s Head of Talent Development, said: “Harry has been rewarded for an excellent season in which he scored more than 600 runs for Wales Under-15s.

“Harry will join us for two group training sessions a week at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff as well as receiving individual sessions at Monmouth School for Boys under the supervision of Steve James.

“The aim of our academy programme is to provide a supply of players capable of succeeding for both Glamorgan and England as well as producing role models of which Glamorgan can be proud.”

Starting next month, Harry, who plays his club cricket for Monmouth Cricket Club and represents Gwent Young Cricketers, will follow a high-performance plan throughout the winter covering all aspects of his development including technical, tactical, physical, mental and lifestyle.

Mr Andy Jones said: “It is wonderful to see Harry’s dedication and hard work recognised by Glamorgan. The academy programme is just one step below the professional arena.

“Harry batted very well for the school last summer, including a match-winning century for the first team against Kimbolton.

“Harry is our third boy to have been selected for Glamorgan’s academy programme and our previous two, Jeremy Lawlor and Huw Waters, went on to earn professional contracts.

“We will be supporting Harry throughout the programme and are confident he will continue to flourish.”

Harry said: “The coaching staff at school are amazing and the opportunities for cricket are great.

“We have so many school fixtures and last season, for instance, we played on the main pitch at Glamorgan against Wales and had a pre-season tour to Sri Lanka.

“I did quite a bit of training with Steve James last winter which was arranged by the school and I felt that helped me during the summer. I want to play for Glamorgan professionally and see how far I can go in the sport."