A rising cricket star from Shropshire has received the backing of a county apprenticeship company to help him continue to impress.
Worcestershire’s towering fast bowler Dillon Pennington will be looking to build on a successful 2018 in which he made the breakthrough to professional cricket.
Dillon, from Shrewsbury, hit the headlines after being handed his first team debut by the Pears.
His opportunity came after catching the eye playing for England in the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand early last year.
Ambitious Dillon has now received a sponsorship boost from ProVQ, an apprenticeship recruitment and training company working primarily within the motor industry.
Julian Lloyd, the managing director of the company based at Atcham Business Park, near Shrewsbury, said: “I’ve known Dillon for quite some time. The first time I saw him he was 11 and opening the bowling for Shrewsbury in a junior match at London Road when my son was opening the bowling for Wellington.
“I saw Dillon run in at that young age and thought that is some action. The next time we met was when Dillon was at school and he was asked by the headmaster to show my son around.
“I’ve since watched his progress and to see him realising his potential is great. From my perspective, we simply want to support Dillon to see if he could make that next step.
“The company that I own and run is in the business of apprenticeship training, but we also have a recruitment arm, so we recruit apprentices for employers and then train them.
“We have a website that assists with that recruitment called apprenticeshipfinder.co.uk
“We thought that it would be a good match with Dillon, given what he’s achieving as a young cricketer.”
Dillon, currently recovering from an ankle ligament injury, said: “It’s brilliant to have the support from Julian and Apprenticeship Finder. As a young professional, I’m grateful.”
The 20-year-old is keen to follow up the success he enjoyed in 2018 when he was part of the Worcestershire squad which won the Twenty20 Vitality Blast. It was a season in which he claimed the wicket of several international batsmen and was also praised by Surrey’s experienced South African star Morne Morkel.
“It was a good year,” added Dillon. “I was carrying the drinks for the second team at the start of the season, so to go from there at the start of the summer to end up playing for the first team meant it was a very surreal year. Hopefully I can carry on this summer.
“The T20 finals day was unbelievable, one I definitely won’t forget. Just being part of it with the crowd and around the players that were there, the likes of Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali, was great.
“I’ve just enjoyed it all really. I’ve enjoyed being in a professional environment and getting to know what is a tight knit group of players at Worcestershire.”
Pictured: Worcestershire cricketer Dillon Pennington and Julian Lloyd, the managing director of ProVQ.