County news October 13, 2008

Battered Surrey offer deals to youngsters

Cricinfo staff

Surrey, criticised in many quarters for an over-reliance on older players during the last wretched season, have agreed new contracts with five youngsters.

Matthew Spriegel, Laurie Evans, Stuart Meaker and Arun Harinath have all agreed new two-year deals, while Chris Murtagh has signed a one-year contract.

"Though we have endured a disappointing season, the positive progress of Jade Dernbach and Matthew Spriegel in the first team this year highlights the quality players that are emerging from the PG academy programme," academy director Gareth Townsend said. "The announcement by the club in offering these contracts to our young players is further testament to the faith that Surrey are showing in home-grown players.

"It's without doubt that players such as Dernbach, Spriegel, Stuart Meaker, Arun Harinath, Chris Murtagh, Laurie Evans and Simon King have worked hard on their cricket in the pursuit of forging a successful career with the club, and I have confidence that these players will be an integral part of Surrey's future success."

Gus MacKay, who took up his role as managing director of cricket on October 1, added: "We're looking to build a very strong squad for next season and these youngsters are a key part of our rebuilding process as well as being an extremely important part of our club's long term plans."