Devon youth duo sign for Premier side Torquay

TORQUAY’S squad building for the season ahead is just about complete with the addition of two more signings.

Skipper Justin Yau has been busy during the winter, adding spin-bowling all-rounder Sachintha Galhenagh (ex-Chudleigh), paceman Ryan Stevenson (Dartington & Totnes) and batter Tim Piper (Bradninch) to the ranks.

Somerset’s Max Waller and Aussie batter Mitch Pugh have both recommitted for another season.

Now Yau has brought in two Devon youth players – spinner Matt Petherbridge (right) and seam-up all-rounder Kazi Szymanski – to add to what he had already.

Petherbridge was a member of the Devon U15 squad last season, but played for the 16 and the 17s as well,

Szymanski was in the U14 squad – he topped the batting averages with 60 plus – and turned out for the U16s.

Devon took Szymanski in the Development Squad tour to South Africa for the second year running, where he was the leading wicket-taker and made it into the top three batting aggregates.

Petherbridge has come up through the extensive youth system at Cornwood, where dad Dave played for nearly 30 years before leaving at the end of last season.

Szymanski, who is away at school in Somerset for the first half of the season, played some age-group cricket with Torquay when he was younger. He has played for Chelston, where brother Wojciech and uncle Mike Burdett are both former captains.

Premier cricket will be a big step up for both youngsters, although Petherbridge has had a bit of experience with Cornwood.

Yau said he wasn’t expecting match-winning performances from both new players straight away, but is confident they have roles to play.

“Peths is an extremely talented left-arm spinner who has performed exceptionally well in the county age groups,” said Yau.

“I am confident that with the right guidance he will learn lots and contribute valuably this year.

“Kazi was desperate to push himself a bit further this year and he will provide firepower with both bat and ball when he returns from school in July.

“They are long-term signings and good enough now to contribute at this level - and they are only going to get better.

“As a club, are looking forward to working with them to help them to improve their skills.

“They have trained superbly and I am confident both are going to be huge successes for many years to come at the club.”


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