OXFORDSHIRE Development XI manager Neil Pearson believes the team are going from strength to strength.

Sunday’s victory over Gloucestershire Academy brought an end to a season of mixed results, but Pearson is more than happy with the bigger picture.

“It is evolving all the time compared to two or three years ago when we were bringing in youngsters for the sake of it,” said Pearson.

“There is proper joined up thinking going on and it is now regarded as the second senior side and back up to the first team.”

“Guys like Jamie Perkin, Jonny Cater, Richard West and Chris Watling have all played for the Development XI and senior team this season.”

Pearson added that club form was key to selection rather than simply progressing from Oxon’s junior sides and cited the selection of Cumnor captain Sam Jones as an example.