Experience of relegation to be used by Letchworth as they aim for promotion
PUBLISHED: 13:45 09 May 2019
They admit it is going to be difficult but Letchworth Garden City Cricket Club are still looking to make an instant return to the top division of the Saracens Herts Cricket League.
The Whitethorn Lane-based club endured a difficult season in the Premier Division with just two wins.
But Will Aitkenhead says they have done it before and feels the experience gained last year will only be a positive going forward.
He said: “Obviously we were disappointed to get relegated last year and the aim for this year has to be promotion.
“It's a tough league though and with only the winners guaranteed to go up, you have to play really consistent cricket throughout the year.
“That is not easy but we've got largely the same squad and the whole squad will benefit from having played in the Premier League last season.
“We learnt a lot and the hope is we can put that experience to good use in the Championship.”
Tom Simmons will captain the side again while Tim Graham has been named as his vice but they will be backed by regulars Maxford Pipe, Matt Bridge and Aitkenhead himself.
The club have also made strides to improve the pathway for their talented youngsters with the appointment of former first-team opener and ECB coach Adrian Wilson as performance director.
His job will be to oversee the development of juniors into senior cricket with quality coaching delivered through a performance academy.
Aitkenhead said: “A feature of the firsts over the last 10 years has been the number of former juniors playing week in week out and Adrian's role will ensure this continues.
“There are a few youngsters already making their way through the ranks from the youth section including 14-year-old Tom Kilby who took an impressive 40 wickets last year in the 4th and 5th teams.
“With the bat David Sprittles has huge potential that we hope he can fulfil this year.”
Letchworth are also running junior camps during the summer holidays with the actual details to be announced closer to the time.
However, they will run for all ages from six to 13 and no previous experience is necessary.
Aitkenhead added: “They are a great way to get into cricket in what is planning to be an exciting summer.”
The second team have exactly the same mindset and desire for the new season as their firsts – win promotion.
And while they have fallen short in the last two seasons, this year Dave Albon's men are confident they can complete the task and get out of Division Three A.
The thirds should also hold their own according to club insiders.
They were promoted to Division Six A after a restructure of the leagues but had played some good cricket anyway in 2018.
Russell Hann remains at the helm there.
The club have also entered junior teams at six age ranges from U9 up to U17 and they will also be running All-Stars sessions for ages five to eight on Sunday mornings
And the U10 girls, who train on Saturday mornings, will benefit from the wisdom of Rose Fernando, a former Sri Lankan international.