How are you feeling about becoming first team Captain of the club?
I’m very much looking forward to the challenge ahead, when I was offered the role it was a no brainer to take the opportunity. I’m quite aware or at least I think I am aware of the difficulties ahead and complications that come with the captaincy but I’ve got a good group of people around me plus a VC that having wintered in Australia will be raring to get back in the mix over here. But ultimately it will be an honour to represent Haslingden CC as captain and regardless of the outcomes, I appreciate the opportunity.
What are your expectations of your first eleven this upcoming season?
The lads are fully aware of what our expectations are and that’s the main thing. We have to stick together as a team and find ways to win close games and ways of pulling ourselves out of tough situations during the closer games, a combination of the above will play a big part over the duration of the season.
Which teams are you fancying to mount the biggest challenge for promotion?
Church are a good side, arguably the best team in the division given a proven league professional in Ashar Zaidi & some very good amateurs. Whoever finishes above them will have had a good season. I think Littleborough have a good chance, experience at the top of the order and a good hard working group of youngsters. Also both Rishton & Enfield have good solid sides with proven professionals, basically it’s going to be tough to get out the division!
It would be nice to have a cup run this season wouldn’t it?
Yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to play in a Worsley Cup Final albeit on the losing side but they are top days and the reason you play. We will be looking to mount cup runs in both the t20 & WC this year, cliché being we’ll just take each game as it comes.
You’ve got a very youthful side, how will that benefit the club in the long run?
Youthful as in age but not in experience, the younger lads have all played a lot of cricket, they’ve been in games where plenty of different game-changing scenarios have happened and they’ve got to learn from these situations. They’ve been around the first team environment for a long time now and it’s down to them to stick the hands up, take some responsibility and make a statement. I’m behind them and will back them through it all, the platform is there!
We start the season with a tough away trip to Littleborough, how confident do you feel you and the lads can secure a big 12 points early on in the campaign?
Yes, we’ll be looking to get off to a flying start and get some momentum early in the campaign, as I’ve said Littleborough are a good side and will be a good marker to see how we’ve wintered.
Reflecting on last season, what improvements do you think you can make this year?
Application, I’m a firm believer that our side have the ability to beat all the teams in the league. It’s about applying ourselves better and as above learning from mistakes. Joe Sipocz did a great job last year but things just didn’t go to plan here & there, so I wouldn’t say there are a massive number of improvements required, as mentioned above the lads are aware of the expectations.
Any grounds you’re looking forward to visiting this year?
Seedhill, Nelson CC.