Pre-season greetings to you all
I will be sending out a full update on what has happened over the close season to prepare the club for the 2022 season after the AGM on the 22nd of this month – this is just a short note to keep you all up to speed.
For those who are not counting the days until the season start, there are only 80 sleeps until our 3rd XI start the cricket season down at Acre Bottom with their first league fixture.
From what I have been told, the teams have wintered well and are enthusiastically deep into the physical preparation for the rigours of Lancashire League Cricket.
Roger and Phil have kept the ground ticking over during the winter but the way it looks now is testament to the work they were able to carry out to bed the wicket and pitch in at the end of last season.
There are always challenges that we face as a club but, as a new season draws close, we know that we are facing competition in the men’s senior ranks the like of which we have never seen before. In a large part, the expansion of the league has seen an influx of a more professional approach from the new teams which has raised the bar from a competitive point of view. Director of Cricket, Andy Dalby, tells me that we are prepared to meet this challenge and, from a longer-term perspective, the club have announced the launch of the Pathway Development Programme (“PDP”) for boys and girls between the ages of 13-17 to add to the foundations already laid within our cricket Academy.
To help with this we have seen the return to the playing set up of Simon Read and Mark Dentith. Both experienced great success at the club and are well respected for their cricketing knowledge. Mark will be taking up the reigns as 2nd XI captain and Simon will be overseeing the 3rd XI. They have been tasked to work alongside the PDP to pass on their knowledge to our younger ranks as we ease them into the cut and thrust of Lancashire League cricket. The age group chosen in the pilot form of the PDP is when we start to see our juniors step up to Senior cricket and we know that Mark and Simon are committed to complementing the targets that we will be putting in place for each player.
We expect, once again, to be competitive across the board in Women’s cricket as Iain Collier’s sides grow in numbers as well as experience – the work that has been done has been exemplary and I look forward to seeing them play in front of their usual healthy support in the coming year. We also hope that the PDP has the positive impact on the girls in our Academy that we fully expect and that this investment helps attract more girls to the club.
That’s all for now – watch this space for future updates.