SOMERSET batsman George Bartlett has set his sights on helping his side win their first ever County Championship title after signing a new deal until 2021, writes Alfie House.

With Somerset gearing up for the new season, Bartlett's contract extension will be warmly welcomed by the club's supporters hoping to see more of the promising youngster in action.

Somerset finished second in the division last year, behind Surrey, but are looking to go one step further and win the competition this time.

The 20-year-old insisted he had no hesitation in signing his new deal and told the County Gazette: “The main aim is to win that County Championship, and just doing as well as we can in all three formats.”

Bartlett, who made six Championship appearances in 2018 but is yet to play a white ball match for the county, is hoping to become a regular part of the side this summer.

“I want to play as much first team cricket as possible," he said.

"It will be hard because of the amount of good players around, but I want to break into the first team and do as well as I can to keep that spot.”

As well as Bartlett, Somerset have announced new deals for players such as Jack Leach, Ben Green and Jerome Taylor (T20 Blast only) in January.

Bartlett insists the Leach deal is “important for the club as he’s done so well for us over the past few years.”

The batsman was also impressed by the Taylor coup, saying: “Jerome Taylor coming back is great news.

"He is a class act and very experienced.”

The Somerset academy graduate had an opportunity most Somerset fans would dream of over the last season, batting alongside club legend Marcos Trescothick.

The young ace described playing alongside the great as 'calming', adding: “He takes the pressure off you as he scores so quickly, he’s great to have down the other end.”

Bartlett’s best moment in a Somerset shirt to date came during his maiden century against Lancashire in the County Championship last season, which came against a bowling attack featuring England legend Jimmy Anderson.

Reminiscing on the moment, he said: “It was an incredible feeling, something you dream of as a kid. I still dream of scoring more now."

Bartlett says he’s not frightened of facing the world's best bowlers, like Anderson, saying: “You have to be up for facing him.

"It’s a challenge you can’t get anywhere else so it’s exciting.”

After a persistent shoulder injury at the end of last season, Bartlett has had an operation to get it sorted and thinks he should be ready for pre-season.

Bartlett graduated from the Somerset Academy in 2016 and had his say on the fresh faces among the latest crop that are coming through the ranks.

He said: “There’s a lot of good academy players coming through.

"A couple I played with last season are Lewis Goldsworthy and Will Smeed, but I’m sure there are plenty of others knocking on the door.”

And when asked for his advice for any budding young cricketers, Bartlett said: "It's difficult to pinpoint one thing, but I'd say always be fearless and don't be afraid to make mistakes."

Somerset kick off their pre-season on March 26 with a three-day home game against University side Cardiff Met.