How do you feel your first season has gone?
I think it’s fair to say that the season has been a success. After the league splitting into two divisions (with us in the top one) and losing our leading run scorer in Jack, probably our leading wicket taker of all time in Josh, the very talented Harrison Phelan, our wicket keeper Kurt Robinson and not to mention losing Josh McDowell to injury all season. All of this meant it was always going to be a tricky year. But Kyle coming in has given us a boost, his keeping has been exceptional all year and innings such as the one against Norden showed us what he’s capable of as a keeper/batsmen. His vocals and suggestions in the field have also been great.
The top division of the Lancashire League is extremely competitive and the difficult games come every single week.
We have played with the youngest side in the top division of the Lancashire League (4 under 19’s in the side every week - our top 3 are all under 19). Playing at the best standard that the club has ever played at, with the youngest team we have had (certainly in my time of playing) puts a huge amount of pressure on young shoulders and extra pressure on the fewer senior players to perform. But I couldn’t have been prouder of how the lads have performed. The target was to stay in the top division and to end up doing it reasonably comfortably in the end and achieving the same league position as last season with such big players missing shows just how much fight and desire the lads have shown. Not to mention winning our first ever Worsley Cup game and reaching the semi finals.
Suraj must also have a special mention for the amount of dedication he showed both on and off the field. He left having made many of the lads much better players. A fantastic bloke too.
Would only be right of me to acknowledge the loss of a couple of CCC legends this summer, Simbo and Malcolm Blackburn both had significant impacts on our club and both are dearly missed by so many.
What have you learnt over the first season?
The easiest thing to do is to stay positive and pat each other on the back when you’re winning but the true test of an individuals character comes when you’re having a few ups and downs. I’ve learnt a lot about the personalities of the lads this year and I’ve been particularly impressed with the heart they have shown at key moments.
Not too impressed with the off field ability in the bar of one or two of the young lads though... think even I could out drink one or two of them!
Sam Halstead opening the batting at Crompton, Charlie Dewhurst getting a real girlfriend and Mully’s biceps!
Probably also worth a mention would be seeing the young lads contribute at so many key moments. Charlie and Mully both scoring hundreds. Harry developing many aspects of his batting and scoring vital runs. Eli has heavily contributed to winning us key games often chipping in with important scores down the order and his bowling going from strength to strength. All 4 have a key part to play in the future success of the club.
Sharpy and Stuart Lemon will no doubt dine out on their last over heroics in a great game at Lowerhouse.
Was great to see Danny Turner and his team win the 2nd team league trophy too.
Genuinely couldn’t single out 2 or 3. The senior guys have been brilliant in the support and enthusiasm they have shown this year and helped me enormously. The energy and ability of Stuart Lemon was also a timely return when things were potentially looking shakey. The young lads have totally bought into everything and been a pleasure to captain. A brilliant and loyal bunch of lads.
Are you planning on staying on for next season and what are your plans to build in the off season?
I will stay on if the club will have me!
We are scouting about for a new pro at the moment so watch this space on that one!
Where would you like to see both your side and the club in 12 months time?
I’m excited to see how this team develops. I believe that with the talented lads in the side at the moment and the number of excellent young players coming through the ranks that we have an opportunity to build a team to compete right at the top of the league for many years. We have won numerous junior county trophies in recent years which would suggest we have some of the best collective young talent in the county.
The club as a whole is in good hands with a strong committee and I’m sure that we can continue to make strides forward for everyone at the club.
Would just like to sign off by saying a huge thank you to all that have supported us this season and a big pat on the back to all those that do all the hard work into giving us players such a great place to play. We genuinely do appreciate it. It has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride at times this season and there have been some nervy moments but the lads have always played with pride and passion, giving their all for the club.
Now we can all recharge the batteries before starting preparations for next season. Winter well!