Promotion a must for Emmbrook & Bearwood CCBy Adam Lee
May 02, 2012
Emmbrook & Bearwood captain Alan Clacey is adamant that the team must regain their Division 1 status this season or risk falling further behind Wokingham as the town’s go-to team.
Emmbrook have always been somewhat in the shadow of their more high-profile Thames Valley League neighbours.
And after suffering relegation in the same season that Wokingham left their old ground to relocate to a new state-of-the-art facility in Sindlesham, Clacey believes Emmbroook must enjoy success in 2012 to redress at least some of the balance.
“We need to get back to Division 1 so that we can attract more players to the club,” said Clacey
“We need to be up there, especially with Wokingham opening their new ground.
“There is a lot of work going on at our club, but we have always played second fiddle to Wokingham and with their new ground it’s going to be even harder to attract players.”
This is Clacey’s second stint at the helm at Lowther Road, having had three seasons as captain 10 years ago, and he replaces James Gibbs, who has stepped down to concentrate on his batting duties.
Emmbrook have also lost the services of club stalwart Steve Phipps, who has left to join Sandhurst after around 20 years of service.
But with new players such as opening bowler Richard Cole and middle-order batsman Tom Lardner drafted in to strengthen the side, as well as a number of talented former colts waiting in the wings, Clacey is confident of a swift return.
“Our plan is to stabalise and get back into Division 1,” he said.
“We’ve picked up a few new players and although the jury is still out, they have looked decent enough in the nets.
“It’s looking promising and with the youngsters we have coming through then all being well we should be pushing – I have played in this divisoin before and I think we should be promoted.
“We’re stronger this year than last.
“Our bowling was actually very good last year and we skittled teams out quite succesfully.
“It’s just the openers very rarely got off to a good start and that put pressure on the rest of the batsmen.
“Hopefully James can settle down and concentrate on his game now he’s not captain and I’m looking for him to get some runs for us, while he is also a very good cover fielder.
“Ryan Phelps had a decent second half to last season and put some good scores together – he’s not a bad medium pace bowler either and it could be a big season for him.
“I was very impressed with Richard Cole’s batting and bowling in the nets, but his bowling was particulalry good and I think he can be a matchwinner for us.
“Chris Trill is also a very good opening bowler and a very good middle order batsman, while Sanjay Jain and Amit Viroja also have the ability to make an impact.”
Emmbrook start their season with a trip to Peppard 2nd, a ground that Clacey has enjoyed success at in the past.
However, they will be without opener Jain for the match.