The Club in Winter feature this week features Sandal CC, with Reg Nelson finding out the views of Playing Committee chairman Michael Trevethan.
Sandal have made a solid start to their Bradford League career, finishing fifth both years in the Conference and enjoying a great Jack Hampshire Cup run last season.
Trevethan is pleased with the progress made: “Having had two successful seasons establishing ourselves as a competitive unit within the Bradford League, our aim this year is to go one step further and achieve promotion for both first and second teams”.
“Our first team has finished in fifth place in both seasons, often beating the eventual champions and runners-up across the two years”.
"This is, alongside other notable achievements such as Group B T20 finalists in 2017, and Jack Hampshire Cup semi-finalists last year after suffering a narrow defeat to Championship Two champions Keighley”.
”What has been lacking though is our strength in-depth and this has been our focus for the forthcoming season. Although only one official transfer has gone through the books, our second team, under new captain Colin Hale has focused on recruitment, and two players are coming back who’ve not played cricket for a few years and are now eager to get going again”.
"I can also say that externally we hope to process some transfers over the coming weeks.
As well as improving the second team, this extra strength will support our first team in their push for promotion”.
"Under new first team captain Kristian Shuttleworth, we’ve managed to retain all first team
players, as well as source our third Australian overseas player”.
“Over the last two seasons, our policy of recruiting a young Australian for their first year overseas has paid dividends. Last year Ben Van Den Nieuwenhof took over 60 wickets in all competitions and his pace was a real asset to the side”.
“This year’s recruit is another opening bowler from Sydney- Ryan Bishop-Perrett who currently plays for NSW Premier Club, Manly Warringah. Ryan arrives in the UK next month and we’re confident that his talents will boost our efforts to gain promotion to Championship Two”.
“In addition, the side will be boosted by the return to full fitness of opening bowler Sam Noden, who last season resorted to ‘spin’ – due to a back injury – and this year returns from a full season in New Zealand and is ready and raring to hit the ground running”.
“We also have a couple of irons in the fire in terms of new recruits, again to give us that extra push for promotion, but either way I expect us to be right up there and challenging once again”.
Trevethan concludes: "Off the field we continue to make ongoing improvements to the ground, this year erecting our electronic scoreboard at the far side of the field to provide optimum viewing position for all guests. We’ve also purchased a new roll-on net cage to improve training facilities for both senior and junior teams”.
“The number of compliments we’ve received since joining the Bradford League about our ground and hospitality shows that the hard work the club has put in over the past decade is paying off. We hope that this will continue and that all clubs enjoy their visit to Barnsley Road this coming season – albeit without taking any points home!.”
Top picture: Australian Ben Van Den Nieuwenhof was a big hit in 2018