Premier Cricket Coaching is lucky to have a team of very experienced cricket coaches. One of our lead coaches and a long-standing member of Ealing Cricket Club is Oliver Wilkin. Oli speaks from first hand experience of starting his cricketing life with the summer camps at Ealing CC all the way through to being a professional cricket with Middlesex. Not only does Oli have an extremely successful playing career he is now turning his hand to coaching on a full time basis, this is great news for the children on the PCC holiday courses as he will be at every one! We caught up with Oli to find out more about his time as a professional cricketer, what the club means to him, and how you can impress him on a holiday course or a junior training session.
At what age did you join Ealing and what was your first experience at the cricket club?
I joined the club at 8, but my first experience was the summer before when my brother had just joined the U9s and I would often join in with his training sessions as well as filling in on occasion in their matches
Did you ever attend a holiday course and what was the best part about these?
Yes I came on all the courses from when I was 7 up to about 15. At that age for me it was just about playing cricket all day every day! And the chance to play with older boys was always fun.
What role did being a junior at Ealing CC play in your path to becoming a professional cricketer?
Ealing has one of the best environments for a colt who wants to learn the game. The coaches are fantastic at what they do and really help a keen youngster improve and learn his or her way in the sport. I have little doubts that had it not been for my growing up at Ealing CC I would never have made it as far in the game as I did.
What advice would you give to anyone attending the courses that have aspirations to achieve some of the things you have in the game?
Take as much out of them as you can. You don’t often get the chance to just play all day long, with your peers and betters in the game, and with a fantastic guidance system with the coaches available. Use them for their knowledge and take everything in you possibly can.
Who was your cricketing hero growing up?
Freddie Flintoff for me every time
Who is the best cricketer you’ve played against?
Kevin Pietersen is up there probably
What was the best part about being a professional cricketer?
Being in and around the dressing room full of pros was a fantastic learning curve for a young player. Getting the chance to play and train alongside people like Eoin Morgan on a regular basis was awesome.
How has your cricketing experiences aided your coaching capabilities?
Having played the game for so long, I feel that most things a young player will go through has at some point happened to me or to someone around me; whether it be a technical issue or a mental issue such as confidence, I would say I understand most of it and can help with almost anything like that.
What is the best part about coaching at Ealing Cricket Club?
Having been a colt myself, gone on to play in the first team and then on to Professional Cricket, the chance to maybe help someone else achieve their goals is amazing. I love watching the extreme number of talented colts we have at Ealing and think that one day I could watch one of them turn out for England and to maybe have a role to play in his or her career.
Ealing CC has a great reputation for developing youngsters, having won the Victor Ludorum trophy for the most success colts club in Middlesex 4 out the last 5 years, what would you say is the key ingredient for this success?
The commitment from the coaches, the age group managers, and the parents of course, makes all the difference. Also having a large number of your playing side coaching makes a massive difference because they are hugely invested in the success of the club, from 1st team level all the way down to the U6’s.
What traits are you looking for in a young cricketer that is critical to developing?
The eagerness to learn and develop themselves as a cricketer, and the natural love for cricket. A youngster who is willing to throw themselves around in every aspect of the game, and one who is always looking to do their best whether it be in a match situation or a catching competition or even in a warm up game of hand hockey.