CRICKETER Oliver Currill is determined to make his breakthrough in the professional ranks at Gloucestershire, writes Sam Bennett.
The 20-year-old Moreton-in-Marsh Cricket Club bowler had his maiden taste of first-class action for Gloucestershire earlier this year.
Currill finished with 0-83 on his debut against Durham MCCU at the end of March.
And Banbury-born Currill, who has featured five times this term for Gloucestershire Seconds, is keen to have another opportunity on the main stage.
“I got into the first team squad four times last season but did not make it into the team,” recalled Currill.
“I’m just trying to break through the barrier and consolidate a place in the first team this season.”
Currill has worked his way up through the age-group teams at Gloucestershire, having represented the county at under-13, 14 and 17 levels.
He played his first adult game at the age of just eight years old.
He has overcome a serious back injury which was a difficult time in his sporting journey.
“When I was just starting to be a professional cricketer I had a stress reaction in my back,” he said.
“I wasn’t able to be involved with the sport at all for two or three months during the season which was quite tough mentally. I was not doing anything during that time in the summer when I wanted to be playing.”
Currill has been around the sport for as long as he can remember and attributes his passion for the game to his father.
“Whenever my dad was at Moreton Cricket Club I’d be up there with him and even at home we’d play cricket in the back garden,” he said.
“He’s the groundsman at the club now, so when he goes up to the club I’ll be with him even if it’s just having a bit of a go in the nets.”
Currill had his “breakthrough year” at the age of 17 when he realised he could achieve his cricketing dreams.
“I had people telling me good things and I just thought to myself there was no reason I couldn’t take my game to the next level.”
And in the long term, the bowler has one ultimate goal.
“Every player on the County circuit has a goal to play for England.
"It doesn’t really matter whether it’s Test cricket, one-day or Twenty20 cricket.
“I’d love to get there one day.”