Seven Essex players sign new contracts

SEVEN Essex players have signed new contracts with the club including a number of youngsters committing their future at Essex.

The seven are Graham Napier, Mark Pettini, Maurice Chambers, Jaik Mickleburgh, Tom Westley, Tymal Mills and Ben Foakes.

Chief executive David East said: “Successful teams flow in cycles and we now have an amazing crop of talented youngsters maturing together. I believe they provide the platform for us to achieve many honours in the years to come. I am delighted so many have committed their futures to the club going forward, and it is a testament to the academy and development framework operating at Essex that we are continuing to produce talent of this quality.”

Napier has signed a new two-year contract with Essex until the 2014 season. The new contract will see Napier extend his time with the club to 15 years since making his debut in 1997.

He said: “I’m really delighted to sign a new contract with the club and I am looking forward to the next two seasons focusing on gaining promotion to Division One of the LV= County Championship and competing in the one-day formats of the game.”

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Essex head coach Paul Grayson said: “It is great news that Graham has extended his time with the club following a good injury-free season. We all know what qualities Napes brings to the team in all formats of the game and I’m pleased he has signed a new contract after a successful benefit year at the club.”

Pettini has also signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until the 2014 season after signing a two-year extension.

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He said: “I’m overjoyed to be signing a two-year contract extension with Essex County Cricket Club having been at the club for over 10 years now and I’m looking forward to the team pushing for promotion to Division One of the LV= County Championship and compete in all formats of the game.”

Fast bowler Chambers has signed a new one-year extension to his current contract after having some impressive performances for the first team during the latter stages of the season.

Chambers expressed: “It is nice to secure my future with Essex once again. I am really happy to sign a one-year extension as I have been here since I was 15 or 16 years old so really can’t see me playing anywhere else. As long as I’m putting in the performances then I want to continue playing here for many seasons to come.”

Grayson said: “I am pleased for Maurice that he has secured his future at the club for a further year. He still has a lot of promise and has shown his bowling qualities to the coaching staff during the second half of the season in the LV= County Championship.

“Maurice can now push on with another winter away and come back for the 2013 season fresh and ready to secure a regular spot in the first team.”

Youngsters Mickleburgh, Westley, Mills and Foakes have all signed two-year contracts with the club.

Westley said on extending his stay with the club: “I am very pleased to sign a two-year extension with Essex. I have high hopes for the future with the young talent we have at Essex.

“Hopefully I can secure more of a senior role in the first team having played a part in every LV= County Championship and Clydesdale Bank 40 match this season. I am pleased with my performances this season having become one of the highest run scorers for the club.”

Mills is looking forward to the future with Essex. He said: “I’m very pleased to have signed a new two-year extension to my current contract with the club. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my first year and look forward to the opportunities in the forthcoming seasons ahead.”

Foakes said: “I really enjoyed my first season, especially being able to make my LV= County Championship debut and I’m happy to have signed a two-year contract. I am hoping to now kick on and continue the progress in my skills and for the club.”

Grayson expressed his thoughts on securing the futures of the youngsters.

“We have highly exciting young players at the club who we believe have a massive future at Essex. We want to show them commitment by giving them new contracts and hopefully they can repay us by putting in the performances next season and in the future.

“In particular, Jaik and Tom Westley formed a great opening partnership for the second half of the season and I’m hoping that form will continue into 2013.”

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