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MCCU: My road ahead Published: 20 February 2014

Loughborough MCCU student Mike Burgess
Loughborough MCCU student Mike Burgess

This year is my first year on the MCCU programme, which I’m doing at Loughborough University.

I came through the system at Surrey CCC, from under 9s to Second XI level, but recently I lost my contract there.

However, my dream is still to play county cricket.

I was recommended to come to Loughborough by my club teammates back home, Reigate Priory Cricket Club in Surrey, who had been here - one of them saying that if I wanted to continue my cricket career, Loughborough is the place to come.

The facilities here are second to none

When I arrived at Loughborough there was quite an intense trial period to begin with, but once you know you’re in the squad it's a weight off the mind.

'Like a family'

The trial means that you’ve already spent a few weeks in the set up, so you already feel part of the system, which was great - it's like a family.

The squad meet up four or five times a week so we do see each other a lot, but it doesn’t feel like we're in each other's pockets.

When we come back together it's nice to see each other, and we spur each other on in training, so it's good fun.

I'm a wicketkeeper and there are two other wicketkeepers in the squad.

We don't know the pecking order yet, so it’s nice to have a bit of competition for places which keeps us all on our toes.

Afterall, if there was just one keeper in the squad standards might drop a bit so it's good to have that competition.

Season ahead

We’re going on tour to Potchefstroom in South Africa in March, so I’m looking forward to getting some sun and catching some balls.

We have our first First Class match of the season against Sussex at Hove on April 1, and obviously you want to be selected for a game like that.

I came to a university like this so I might be able to play First Class cricket, so it’s in the back of my mind, but firstly I’ve got to do well in South Africa.

Facilities

Our winter training is quite an open programme, and the facilities here are second to none.

The cricket centre here is open most of the week, so we can book a net anytime, and we have a group session on Wednesdays where we all meet up.

Our gym sessions are all early mornings, so there’s no overlap with lectures, and our matches are on Wednesday afternoons, which we have off.

It’s tiring and time consuming, but they don't clash so it’s definitely worth it.

University life

I live on campus at the moment - only two minutes away from where we train - which is really convenient.

I must admit it's a bit of a bubble, but I'm so close to the cricket centre and five minutes away from my lectures, so to me it’s perfect.

Mixing cricket and my degree - Sports Science - can be a challenge, but if you manage your time, get up early enough and are organised theres no clash between the two.

Getting the degree is important, so if the cricket doesn’t work out I would be able to go into the world with a solid education behind me and make a living.

Spirit of Cricket

Being part of an MCCU side is great, and it means you have to understand and respect the spirit of the game.

We have to understand that MCC are helping us get what we want to achieve, which means that when we go out to play with the MCCU on our chest we have to represent ourselves accordingly.

Naturally I’m not able to go out as much as a normal first year, but we do have some socials together as a team which are good fun.

We have a few beers now and then but I have to focus on my goal - which is to be picked up by a county - so I wouldn't change a thing.


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