County trials

An SMCC Under 11 player batting against Northamptonshire in 2020.

How many SMCC Juniors play in county, district and other regional sides?

In 2023 we have 19 boys and 7 girls in a country, district or equivalent performance pathway programme - that's 26 in total; 10 more than in 2022. That's 8% of our current junior membership.

Can I nominate my son or daughter?

It depends on the performance programme whether you can nominate them of a club or school needs to nominate them. See below for details.

How does the club decide who to nominate?

Each year we ask our team managers (usually 3-4 parents per squad) to reach a consensus on a small number of players to put forward for county trials. We use statistics as well as observation of training and match-play, and we also use input from our coaching team in finalising the nominations lists. 

What are the performance programmes looking for?

In considering who to nominate, we follow guidance provided by the programmes, and in short, we are looking for players with a combination of the following:

*Performance programmes are conscious that some players in the same school year can be nearly a year older than others and that juniors develop physically a different times, so they are not just looking for players who hit a ball the furthest or bowl the fastest.

What performance programmes do SMCC Juniors play in?

The following information is correct for summer 2023, but may change from year to year.


The first stage of Surrey Academy trials is open for anyone to self-nominate, by means of sending in a number of short video clips

Boys and girls from U10-U18 (school years 5 to 13), can apply.


Girls: In 2023, the Kent's Girls' Talent Pathway had open trials for U11s and required nominations for U12-18s. Kent ran three regional hub squads in addition to the Kent squads. These were all run by Kent directly, with a single, unified trials process.

Boys: Boys need to trial for one of the 8 regional Kent Area Programme squads, which is the first level of the Kent Boys' Talent Pathway. Our local team is Greenwich & Lewisham Lightning, run by Top Academy. Anyone can self-nominate players for these trails, though Top Academy do also ask us for nominations, which we provide. In 2023, the Kent Area Programme will run squads from U10 to U14s only. At the end of each summer, the Area Programme coaches will nominate selected players to trial for the Kent squads. 

London Schools' Cricket Association

London Schools' Cricket Association - a charity with a catchment area of Inner London which runs boys teams that play against counties. They take nominations from clubs and schools. They do not run a girls' section. 

Middlesex Schools Cricket

Middlesex Schools Cricket - privately run academy based in West London (Brentford area) which runs mixed boys/girl squads from Under 11 up that play against county opposition. In 2024 they are aiming to run dedicated girls' squads. You can self-nominate for open trials. The club will also nominate. 

ACE Programme

ACE Programme - charity that aims "to build grassroots cricket programmes, develop talent pathways and talent ID systems in targeted black communities and cities across the UK" - it provides high quality training and some county-level match-play opportunities. For ACE, you shoud self-nominate.

SMCC policy on soft-ball cricketers nominated for ‘hard-ball’ trials

This policy is relevant to parents of junior players who have been nominated by the club for county trials, where the county squad will train and play hard-ball cricket; but the player’s age-group will play soft-ball.

In the school year 2022-23, this refers to:

Boys U9s

Please note that in 2023, Surrey have discontinued their Boys U9s programme. This is in response to and aligned to most other counties already having discontinued their programmes at this age.

Girls U10s

The club decides which players to nominate during the summer when these players are U9s, for trials in Aug/Sept the same summer. A player will have to be truly exceptional to be nominated for county U10 trials as a U9.

It is up to parents to decide whether they want their child to attend the trials or not. 

If the players will not be attending the trials, they will be treated as any other GU9

If they will attend the trials, the following shall apply.

Trials are held in August / September. Therefore there is less opportunity for the club to provide structured training for these girls than for the Boys Under 9s.

There are a few possible routes for parents to consider:

Route 1 is to attend the trials as a soft-ball player and to continue as a soft-ball player for the year. From our parents' experience to date, trialists are a mixture of soft and hard-ball players. 

Route 2 is to decide to attend the trials as a hard-ball player, using borrowed kit (you’d need to source this, probably from an older player). This would mean that if your child does not get into the Surrey or Kent performance programme, you can just give back the borrowed hard-ball kit and carry on as a soft-ball player, continuing to be with the same squad. 

Route 3 is to decide to attend the trials and to commit to buying the hard-ball kit.

For the summer season, for all routes, these girls will sign up and train/play in their age-appropriate GU9 squad in the summer, but will also be permitted to train and play (subject to GU10 managers’ selection) with the GU10 squad for one year at no extra cost, if they wish. We would suggest this is more likely to be appropriate following route 3 (and possibly route 2 if there is a decision to purchase kit later) as all children will need their own hardball kit to attend hardball training. 

This will apply whether or not they are picked into the county performance programme after the trials. This will mean that the purchase of kit and the training will not be wasted, and they will be well prepared if nominated again for trials the following summer.

These players will be permitted to play as a regular member of the squad a year above for a single year only as described above. Parents should please ensure that their children clearly understand this.

If you opt for route 2 or 3, it is recommended that you book your daughter, if possible, into some days of the summer camp as a hard-ball player in order to have some structured training and match-play experience as a hard-ball player. We would also recommend parents helping players to prepare by going to nets with them. 

If you opt for Route 3, and if you wish your daughter to attend indoor training, you should book her into the hard-ball training session appropriate for hard-ball GU10s, subject to capacity, for autumn and/or spring training. Hardball kit is required for all hardball practice in club sessions.