Former Millfield Prep stars open school’s new cricket nets

Professional Somerset County Cricket hero Max Waller and Olympic hockey legends Simon and Richard Mantell returned to their former school, Millfield Prep in Somerset, to formally open its new cricket facility. The new nets will allow Millfield Prep pupils to train and progress in cricket to the best of their ability.

Somerset County Cricket’s Max Waller, who attended Millfield Prep and Millfield from 1996-2006, formally opened the nets before a thrilling Old Millfieldian Hockey Match, which featured current pupils and staff playing alongside former students and cricket and hockey legends including Olympian’s Simon and Richard Mantell, England and GB hockey’s Nick Brothers and Kent Cricket’s Charlie Hartley. The match was raising money for the Neil Goodman Memorial Fund.

Former Millfield 1st XI captain Max Waller said, “Having spent my early school life at Millfield Prep and then moving on to Millfield, I am aware of the outstanding facilities that the schools provide. These new cricket nets are a fantastic addition to that, and I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to come back and open them for young people all over Somerset to enjoy. It’s amazing to look back and realise that this is where it all started for me and my cricket; the environment that the staff and coaches create is second to none, allowing the students to have fun while making sure they are improving and competing as well as they possibly can. It was a great starting point on my journey into professional sport, and I expect there will be many more professional sportsmen and women to come from Millfield Prep in the future.”

Former Millfield Prep pupil and Olympian Simon Mantell, who was awarded OM of the Year by the school’s students last year alongside his brother Richard, said, “It was fantastic to be back at Millfield Prep, where I have such fond memories of my time at school. It is always a pleasure to return to see so many friendly faces both on and off the pitch.”

Richard Mantell, who represented Great Britain at the 2008 Olympics alongside brother Simon, added, “It’s always great to return to school to catch up with so many teachers and friends. The facilities improve every time I go back, with the new cricket nets being the latest impressive addition to the already world-class set up.”

Cricket is the major summer game for boys and girls at Millfield Prep, with a full fixture list allowing every child the opportunity to participate. Matches start for the U8 teams with 14 sides in six age-groups, also playing ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ matches at U13, U12 and U11 levels. The 1st XI, U12s and Development Squads have regular fixtures against county age-group teams such as Somerset, Devon, Gloucester and Cornwall, as well as those from South Wales. In recent years, Millfield Prep’s boys 1st team have regularly won the David Bunbury and National Prep Schools titles, and the girls’ team have twice won the National Indoor title at Lord’s. Large numbers of Millfield Prep cricketers have represented county sides (mainly Somerset) at U13, U12, U11 and U10 level.

The programme is run by Level 3 Coach, David Beal, Millfield Prep’s Director of Cricket. A former Somerset professional and the county’s longest-serving youth coach, Dave has a coaching input for every child in the school.

Millfield Senior School in Street is also opening a new state of the art Indoor Cricket Centre as well as an Indoor Golf Centre, both of which are due for completion in early 2020. The Indoor Cricket Centre will feature new PitchVision technology on three lanes, a state of the art 4G fielding area, three adaptable bowling and batting surfaces, as well as five nets and an expansive 22 metre run-up.

Millfield and Millfield Prep’s next Open Days are this Saturday 5 October.

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