Lowestoft Town CC ready for new campaign
PUBLISHED: 10:42 22 April 2011
THE future looks bright for Lowestoft Town Cricket Club.
After a fine 2010 season, which saw the Denes Oval outfit finish in an excellent third place in the Frankly Digital Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division, Matt Reid’s side are aiming ever-upwards as they look to build on last year’s successful campaign and give more youngsters an opportunity to shine with an abundance of youth talent waiting in the wings.
With the returning South African sensation Mpho Sekhoto looking to flourish once more after hitting more than 1,000 league runs last season, skipper Reid rallied his troops ahead of the 2011 campaign, which starts tomorrow with a home match at Denes Oval against newly-promoted Sprowston.
“We are looking to build on the excellent season we had in 2010, along with developing the younger players within the club for the upcoming season,” Reid told The Journal this week.
“Last season the first team involved 12 different players under 19 – this season will provide these players with the opportunity to make first team places their own and consistently contribute to the side with both bat and ball.”
Echoing these sentiments, experienced all-rounder and club captain Peter Sims admitted the scenario for the club’s four Saturday sides is likely to see “youngsters coming of age,” in the campaign ahead.
“The first XI season is the longest it has ever been stretching to September 17, and it will be the most competitive for years with two strong sides promoted to the Premier Division and a team coming down into it from the East Anglian Premier League,” Sims said.
With the league expanded to 11 teams to accommodate Fakenham, who were relegated from the EAPL, promoted sides Stow and Sprowston are also likely to be strong according to Reid.
“We expect the league to be extremely competitive again after last season, when only 24 points separated third and ninth position in the league,” Reid said.
“We entertain Sprowston in the first league game of the season at the Denes Oval tomorrow and, like ourselves, Sprowston over recent years have had an excellent youth system, which has seen their young players progress together and saw them convincingly win division one last season.
“We are delighted to welcome back Mpho Sekhoto, who we hope will arrive in the UK in time to feature in Saturday’s opening game. Mpho had a great season with us last year both on and off the field and his return will be of great benefit to the younger players with him already knowing their games and areas of their game that he can work with to help them improve.”
Equally delighted by Sekhoto’s return, club captain Sims pinpointed some other names to look out for in forthcoming months.
“Look out for younger players like Harvey Hebditch, Billy Brice, Josh McAvoy, Kieran Jones, grabbing the headlines in the first team over the season, as well as last year’s first XI player of the year, Tom Brice,” Sims said.
“As well as those mentioned above, other up and coming juniors who will form part of Wayne Nixon and Stewart Larter’s A XI side – and could well force themselves into first team reckoning – are Michael Shea, Kaiden Goldspink, Romesh Tirimanna, Adam Palmer, Ben Dalziel, Jeff Newman and Ben Foster.
“We hope to see Ryan De Coteau and Dom Smith performing well between their football commitments and the return to cricketing action of Robbie Horton is also on the cards.” Sims revealed.
Lowestoft have also entered the Mid-Norfolk League for the first time this season, and Tom Brice will lead a very youth orientated Sunday first XI team each week to some new venues for what is hoped will be a successful campaign.
“We have Lawrence De Coteau leading the Academy side in the North Suffolk Youth League on Sundays as well, hopefully getting the right balance between giving more juniors an experience of adult cricket in a controlled environment whilst being competitive,” Sims added. “We will again be entering a team in the Carter U17 competition and we will have U11, U13 and U15 teams in the Norfolk Alliance competitions, while Billy Brice will take charge of the Lowestoft and District Midweek Cricket League side, which will showcase a lot of younger players during the week.”
n Lowestoft Town CC were keen to express their thanks for their support and backing once more this season for valued sponsors Gary Bennett, Parkview Financial Planning and Badger Building.