Tony Palladino looking for breakthrough year at Essex CCC

Tony Palladino is targeting a breakthrough season at Essex next year after signing a new 12-month contract at Chelmsford

Tony Palladino is targeting a breakthrough season at Essex next year after signing a new 12-month contract at Chelmsford.

Palladino, from Stepney, extended his stay with the county this week after penning a new deal until 2010.

The 26-year-old has struggled to cement a regular place since making his Essex debut in 2003 and played in just three matches during the county's promotion winning campaign following a series of niggling injuries last season.

But Palladino's first-class record of 76 wickets at an average of 38.68 has persuaded Essex to offer the East End seam bowler a new deal.

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Now he is aiming to repay the county's faith by emerging as a top-level performer in Division One next season.

Palladino will compete in the South Africa Airways Provincial Challenge Series for Nambia this summer in a bid to hit the ground running when Essex return to action next year.

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He said: "I am really pleased to have signed a contract extension with Essex. I have been here for 11 years from youth team through to the first XI.

"I love playing for the club and pulling on the shirt and I hope I can contribute to more success for the club.

"I am going to Namibia to play in a first-class competition over the winter months, which will give me the ideal opportunity to prepare for a big season in 2010 with Essex."

Essex coach Paul Grayson is also convinced that Palladino can have a major impact at the Ford County Ground.

"We are really pleased that the deal has been agreed," Grayson said. "When Tony has come into the side this season he has performed well but unfortunately he sustained a few niggles.

"He is a valuable member of our squad and also our bowling unit. After this winter we are confident he will come back an even better player next season.

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