Heywood will have a new captain and paid man for the club’s first season in the Greater Manchester Cricket League (GMCL).
Although the 2015 season has barely ended, the club’s committee has worked hard to put in place plans for 2016, which will see some significant changes from last season.
Firstly, Chris Humphreys has been named captain for the first tilt at the GMCL. The former Prestwich and Norden player will take over from Danny Pawson, who has done an excellent job for the past two seasons. Pawson has started a full-time university course and would have found it impossible to combine work and captaincy.
This has meant finding a replacement, and Humphreys is the ideal man to take the club forward. He has made a big impact at Crimble since joining from Norden towards the end of last season with son Dominic, the pair of them bringing enthusiasm and talent to the club.
A club spokesman said: “The club places on record its thanks to Danny for the manner in which he has led the side on and off the field over the last two years.
“Chris has made a big impression at the club since arriving with son Dominic for the last third of the season and his knowledge of the game, enthusiasm and willingness to help the younger players was evident in that time.
“We look forward to Chris leading the club forward and know that he will have the full support of all those at Crimble.”
Secondly, despite Pawson handing over the captaincy reins, it will not be the end for this popular and talented cricketer at Crimble. Pawson will become the club’s only paid player for the 2016 season, replacing the overseas professional the club has traditionally employed. Such a change will become understandable to members once the accounts are published
While the GMCL is an open league, allowing teams to openly pay players, Heywood is committed to only paying one professional, preferring to put funds into the facilities and the young members of the club.
Pawson’s appointment as the club’s sole professional player will go down well with members, as he has come through the ranks and has been consistently one of the top amateur batsmen in Lancashire cricket. Pawson finished the 2015 CLL season once again as one of the leading run scorers across all formats and outscored many of the named professionals. He was named Player of the Year at the Presentation Evening.
Thirdly, with the club not having to provide a car, accommodation and flights for 2016, Heywood will now actively seek a senior coach to take training and to work with the club’s senior players. This will then provide a natural transition for younger players to continue their development and the reintroduction of third team cricket on Sunday’s will also help younger players gain playing opportunities. The club will advertise the post in due course.
Finally, and again to support the development of youth players, the club will actively seek an overseas amateur to play in 2016 and to coach on the junior programme. Contact has already been made with various people in Australia and we hope to announce some good news over the coming months.
Junior Cricket Chairman Bobby Cross is pleased with the decisions made.
He said: “It is great to see the club continue its pledge to support the development of young players.
“There are some very talented youngsters at the club and it is vital that we are able to give them the opportunity to develop by continuing to improve the junior setup and by continuing to promote players into senior cricket as we have with Jack Morley. As we heard at Presentation Evening there are several other players not far behind Jack that will be pushing to follow in his footsteps in the next couple of years.
“The impact of a senior coach will be invaluable and I am delighted to see the junior teams that we will be playing in the GMCL.
“Bamford, Bury, Clifton, Prestwich, Stand, Thornham and Unsworth will provide some great opposition and will cut down on some of the travel times we have battled with in recent years.
“The fact the third team can now play on separate days to the other sides should also allow this team to become a genuine tool for the development and retention of players moving from youth to senior cricket.”
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