OA Nathan Signs Somerset Cricket Contract
Former King’s College pupil, Nathan Gilchrist, is delighted to have signed a one-year contract with Somerset County Cricket Club.
After signing the deal the 18-year-old, who graduated from the club’s Academy this summer, said: “I’m just over the moon to be honest. It’s been two years of hard work on the Academy, but I’m so glad that this moment has finally come. Now I’m just really excited to get started as a professional cricketer. It’s a very proud moment for both me and my family.”
Nathan is a right arm fast-medium bowler and right-handed batsman and was born in South Africa. Although Nathan’s father is English, he first came to England on a cricket exchange. He explains:
“I’ve been in England for just over two years now,” he said. “It feels like home for me as I have spent so much time at the Cooper Associates County Ground and it’s a big part of my life. My school in South Africa, St Stithian’s College, had an exchange programme with King’s College in Taunton, so I came here thinking it would just be for three months. Little did I know that I’d be here for another two years and that it would work out like it has.
“Since I first joined the Academy there have been a lot of opportunities that have come my way. In South Africa I didn’t play any representative cricket, so to be thrown straight into a professional environment was quite daunting at first. However, everyone at the club has made me feel so welcome and in the last year I’ve learned so much from being around the first and second XIs. It doesn’t feel like so much of a step up to become a professional now.
“The day that I was told I had been awarded a contract was a pretty good day for me. In the morning I was told I had been offered a contract, after which I drove to a three-day game against Surrey and took a six-fer."
“The Somerset Academy is very competitive, and during my involvement with it I’ve learned so much. It’s been really worthwhile. Hopefully over the next 12 months I can showcase what I’m capable of and continue my career with Somerset for many years to come.”
Speaking of his time at King’s, Nathan said: “I can’t give King’s College enough credit for all the help that they have given to me since I first arrived at the school.”
“Phil Lewis (Director of Sport) and Rob Woodman (Director of Cricket) have both been a huge help in my career so far. They welcomed me with open arms and I’m just thankful for all that they have done for me, both as a pupil and a cricketer.”
He added: “I passed my BTEC Sport, which was a good choice for me because I always wanted to be involved with sport in one way or another. This particular course really helped me to explore that.”
“The last few winters I have partly been at school and partly training at the ground, so this will be my first year focusing solely on cricket which I am really excited about. This winter is definitely going to show how much my game can develop and I will be here right the way through until pre-season, so I know I have got a lot of hard work ahead of me but I also know that it will be worth it.”