Q&A with Andy Dalby ahead of 2022 Season

Tough season in 2021 for all our senior teams. Expecting an even more competitive season in 2022 ?
People say the 2021 season was a tough season? However, those that know me well, will know I will always look at the positives rather than the negatives.
Given the fact that we lost a number of players in the close season (2020) it was always going to be a challenge in competing at the levels we have been accustomed to, especially as we were runners-up in the one-off Presidents Cup in 2020, which in my humble opinion was as a good an amateur team as I have seen at Acre Bottom in recent years.
Putting all that into perspective it was great to be back watching cricket again in 2021, albeit, with a new normality. It was certainly a season of two halves with the first half being a constant battle for results and the second half being a constant battle in putting three full teams out.
Therefore it was a real positive that we won eight games out of the last twelve, given the form of the first half of the season. I have to give special mention to Kieran Grimshaw (Grimmy) who took over the captaincy half way through the season. I was accused (by a very small minority) of only giving him the captaincy to keep him at the club. The majority (including the players) knew he was the right man for the job and fully deserved to lead this youthful team forward. He certainly says it how it is and has a burning ambition to win at everything he does. (I think it’s a family trait.)
No Daryn in 2022 – what are your favourite memories of his time with us ?
I can’t underestimate the impact Daz has had on our great club. He’s a club legend, his figures certainly speak for themselves. Daz’s grit and determination cannot be underestimated and the players (as a collective) will now have to adapt their own games to find a way of getting us over the line when it matters.
Sen returning – what can we expect to see from him ?
Sen, first and foremost is a great guy. Ever since his first stint with us, I’ve keep in touch with him, especially as we are both United fans. As we all know, Sen’s time with us was cut short due to international commitments. I’ve always felt their was unfinished business with him.
His stats were up there with the best in the league before his early departure and I don’t think he had truly got into his stride before leaving. I’m hopeful for plenty of runs and wickets and certainly a few glasses of red wine with him over the summer months.
Who do you expect to make a step up in 2022 ? Any new players to look out for ?
It’s well known from within that we have tried really hard over the winter months to ensure that we have a competitive edge (within the playing squads) this year, hence it was imperative we got it right with the people who would lead the second and third team respectively. Bringing back Mark Dentith and Si Read is a real coup for the club. Their experience is second to none and they are both Rammy through and through.
There are also a number of other players returning to the club this season which should ensure we have some good commitment from all the players. This was clearly evident at last week’s training session when numbers were the best I’ve seen. Of note some players will certainly need to raise their commitment levels if they want to ensure game time this season.
What game are you looking forward to this year ?
I always look forward to the game’s against Lowerhouse. They are always competitive fixtures and there’s  certainly been some epic games over the years.
Realistic expectations for 2022 ?
As always, we will look to compete in all three divisions that our teams are involved in this season.
We are fully aware that the first division has evolved over the last few years and some teams are stronger than others for a number of reasons. We will continue to strive to be the best we can with the players we have and anyone that joins our playing ranks, does so because they have a passion to win for this great club.
New Academy and Player Development Programme in place. How will this work ?
I’m really excited to be part of the newly formed PDP. As a cricket committee we decided quite early on in the winter that we wanted to invest heavily in our Academy players (boys and girls) moving forward.  This additional support will supplement the excellent academy training.
Any predictions for League, Cup and T20 winners ?
Norden – Great Pro in Ash.