PAUL Walter is eager to secure victory when Essex face the Netherlands at Garon Park today.

The one-day friendly, which is set to start at 11am, will see some of the County Championship title holders’ promising cricketers go head-to-head with the Dutch national side.

And Walter, who hails from Billericay, is looking forward to returning to Southend.

The all-rounder said: “It will be nice to play at Garon Park again.

“It’s a good pitch there and I’m looking forward to the match.

“We don’t play at Garon Park much anymore and I think we are only there once a year nowadays.

“I always like playing there because I’m from Billericay and so it is only down the road for me.

“I like playing in Billericay as well but hopefully we can win in front of the fans at Garon Park.”

Essex secured a four wicket win over the Netherlands at Garon Park 12 months ago.

Michael Rippon hit a century as the Dutch were all out for 294.

Ravi Bopara stole the show as he hit an unbeaten 121 in an innings which included 17 boundaries.

As a result, Essex were able to claim victory ahead of the charge for their first County Championship Division One crown in 25 years.

And although Walter did not feature in the fixture last year, he is aware that the Dutch side will prove tough to beat.

“I didn’t play in the match against them last year, but they played well from what I can recall,” added the 24-year-old.

“We have played them on two occasions I think and both times they have impressed.

“But the game is a good opportunity for me to get some wickets and runs ahead of the Twenty20 season getting underway.”

With the likes of Ryan ten Doeschate and Alastair Cook competing in the County Championship meeting with Somerset, Essex are likely to boast second XI and academy players in their ranks at Garon Park today.

Aaron Beard is expected to be among those in the side just days after competing against Southend & EMT in the Shepherd Neame Essex League Premier Division.

Although Beard was out for a duck while playing for Shenfield, the 20-year-old finished with bowling figures of 2-51 as Southend & EMT registered a two wicket win.

And Walter confirmed it is an exciting time for Essex thanks to the amount of promising stars coming through the system.

Walter confirmed: “It’s difficult to say who the most promising youngsters coming through the ranks are because we have so many talented cricketers.

“We have got a lot of strength in depth and while the first team is trying to retain the County Championship title they won last season, the youngsters are gaining experience in games like the one at Garon Park today.

“Hopefully they can show their capabilities against the Netherlands.”