Future is looking so promising for Roy of the overs
SURREY star Jason Roy is confident his club Reigate Priory will win the Ryman Surrey Championship, dismissing rivals Banstead's early-season form.
The Surrey first team batsman played in the Llamas' home loss to Banstead earlier in the season but insists "don't worry about Banstead" as far as title winners go.
"I'm sure Priory will win the league. Definitely. Priory are struggling at the moment and Banstead are doing well, but, well, don't worry about Banstead!" Roy said with a knowing laugh. "I can't say too much about Banstead. But Priory will come back strong towards the end of the season, don't worry about that."
Roy has only made the one appearance for Priory so far this season, but the county professional promises to get down to Park Lane whenever he is allowed.
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"Every time I get the chance I play for Priory. If my coach at Surrey calls up and says it is my choice, then I'll play. But if he tells me I can't play then I can't exactly go against that or I'll be fired," the 21-year-old explained.
"For a lot of people, they have their job during the week and play for Priory and have fun at the weekend, and it's kind of the same for me.
"A lot of the time Surrey want me to rest on my day off.
"Occasionally, if have a Saturday off, Surrey want me to chill, if we have a game during the week, like a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and then have Friday, Saturday, Sunday off. So if I play on the Saturday, they are worried it is too much cricket in a week."
Despite the friendly rivalry, Roy enjoyed playing Banstead.
"The game against Banstead was good fun," he admitted.
"I really enjoy playing for Priory. It's a good bunch of lads and also my home team, it's just a completely different environment.
"It's not a different mentality, it's just more social. Surrey is social too, but it's just different.
"Surrey is my career and then it's nice to come down and see everyone at Priory on the Saturday. It's a lot less pressure too but all your scores and stuff still get taken into consideration as well... which is a bit annoying."
Roy paid a visit to Park Lane earlier this month to help coach East Surrey colts, a team he played for shortly after moving to England from South Africa aged ten.
"I don't remember being that small," Roy exclaimed looking at the excitable children in the batting nets. "When I was 11 I didn't think of taking cricket seriously, I was just enjoying it. I was just having fun and taking it day by day. I didn't think of it as a possible profession.
"You need to just have fun and enjoy it, until you get older. That's when you have to take life more seriously!"
And the batsman admits it was by chance he got into cricket, as his dad was keen to turn him into a rugby player.
"I played cricket at school and they told me I was pretty good and I should go and play for a club," Roy explained in an accent that retains a definite South African twang.
"So I went to play for a club, which was when I was ten, then I went for East Surrey trials and then just carried on from there. No one really got me into cricket, it just sort of happened. My dad wanted me to play rugby.
"I've been playing for Surrey since I was 14 years old and I just went from there. I went all the way up through the academy, graduated, got my contract, played second team and then first team."
Already established as a key player in the Surrey one-day fixtures, Roy is now hoping to adapt his sometimes impatient game to the four-day format.
"There is still a lot of work to be done," Roy said of his longer format game. "One-day cricket is more my thing, but they are looking at me for the longer format now as well which is pretty cool. Hopefully, I can establish myself in that."
And with young East Surrey players begging for his autograph, what advice would Roy like to have given himself at that age?
"That it's all going to work out OK in the end," he laughed. "I'd probably tell myself to take as much advice as possible and keep working at it.
"I got given heaps of advice when I was younger but really take all the information on – it's all valuable in the end."
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