GEORGE Bartlett has played his last game for Somerset and will be shortly packing his bags and moving to join Northamptonshire after signing a three-year contract with the midland county.

Sitting looking out across the Cooper Associates County Ground, the 25-year-old top order batter, who played up through the Somerset age groups and joined  the Academy before making his debut in 2017, chatted about his impending move and his time at Taunton.

“I don’t think it will really hit me until I have been away for a few months, but I’m guessing that it will feel strange after being involved here from an early age,” he said. 

“All I have ever known is Somerset and the great people here and I have loved it.

“However, sometimes you have to put your career first and now I am looking forward to that challenge and what lies ahead at Northants.

“I have signed a three-year contract which gives me the chance to really bed myself and get really settled there and get to know everybody really well.  Now I am really looking forward to it and hopefully  it will be the start of something really exciting.”

George went on: “At the start of my professional journey I would have taken the amount of games that I have played.

“I have made over 90 appearances for the club in all formats and, coming here when I was younger, I never thought that I would do that so I am proud of that and very happy with what I have achieved here.

“I have made some notable contributions in winning the One Day Cup in 2019, as well as in four day cricket and making my T20 debut, so there is a lot to be proud of.

“At the start of my time on the Academy this all seemed a long way off, but now I’m here you always want more.”

Does George feel that he has made the most of his opportunities ?

He said: “There is such a competitive group that sometimes it feels like if you have one poor game then you are out of the team, which is tough because you never know whether or not you have got an extended run.

“That’s down to different things and  something that comes with being in such a great club with great players.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way because we have been successful during my time here. I don’t think we have lost only a handful of the four day games that I have played in, which shows just how good a team I was playing in. “

George chose a couple of championship games that stand out.

“The win that we had at Lord’s in 2021 where me and ‘Abes’ put on a partnership and then I had one with with Lewis Gregory to win the game which was really special to achieve at the home of cricket,” he said.

“That was the first game of the year and really set the tone for the season.

“To bat long and to be there at the end was really special and something I will never forget.

“My highest score 137 against a good Surrey attack at Guildford in 2019, again when I was playing well and I was really happy with the how I played and the team won which was great.

“There’s been so many- there really has. In one day cricket in the 2019 run we had when we had such great people in the team - Azhar Ali as overseas was fantastic - to be part of that at such a young age was special.

“Looking back on that you think that was one of the greatest days of my career to date.

“I have had plenty of good days with plenty of good people here and I am very thankful and lucky to have been able to have done that.”

George grew up at East Coker and went to school a Millfield, so he is very much a local boy.

He said: “This is my home county and I have been playing cricket for them since I was nine or ten so I have always been local and Somerset County Cricket Club has always been there in the distance - I watched them play so to grow up here and then come and play with other local boys has meant a lot. I know the fans love it when local lads play in the team.

“The Somerset fans are special and something that you don’t get at other counties.”

What is George going to miss?

“I guess I will miss the people here foremost, this is all I have known and have had great fun coming here to play and train,” he said.

“I love being around everyone and it’s all I know from the time I was 15 or 16 and I have loved it.

“There will be a lot of things I will miss and time will tell but, looking ahead to the future, I'm really happy to push my career in the right direction hopefully and have a fresh start up in Northampton.

“I think that in anyone’s career there is a choice that you have to make and I’m at that stage now and this is a fresh start for me.

“Northants will be pushing for Division One status which is great, they have got a pretty successful white ball team and, yes, I’m excited at the prospect of playing all three formats if I get the chance.

“Of course, I know its going to be different but I already know a few lads up there like Ollie Sale, and I have also spent time in the England Under 19s with Saif Zaib so I know that they are a good group of lads and I’m looking forward to getting to know everyone.”

In an ideal world, where does George like to think he’d be batting?

“I think batting at four or five is where I have had the most success in my career - thats where I like to bat, but I’m open to whatever and just thankful to be able to continue to play and want to be a part of a successful team.”

Whats happens now for George?

“I will be starting with Northants in November when I will move up there and get to meet everyone and then there will be winter training and whatever the pre-season plan is yet.”

He added: “I’m looking forward to a good winter working on my game and getting to know the culture at Northants  and then starting the season well.”