Torquay bring back Wightman for second stint at Rec Ground

Torquay skipper Justin Yau, who is putting the finishing touches to his 2017 squad. Photo:

FORMER Central Districts spinner Dan Wightman is on his way back to the Recreation Ground this summer as Torquay put a side together to challenge for the Premier Division title.

Wightman, who is 24 in August, played twice for Central Districts in the Plunket Shield in the 2011-2012 season.

He graduated through the Central Districts U17 and U18 squads and was in the initial 30-man New Zealand squad for the 2012 Under-19 World Cup.

British passport holder Wightman had a decent season with Torquay in 2013, taking 31 Premier wickets in the low 20s.

He spent 2014 and part of 2015 playing for Harpenden in the Hertfordshire County League. Injury limited his appearances in 2015 to just eight games.

Ben WilliamsTorquay’s overseas player for the season ahead is South African Cody Gertze.

Torquay lost opener Reid Mawdsley during the winter – he left for Heathcoat – and since then have lost Sach Galhenage and Ben Williams.

Left-arm pacer Williams, who arrived in 2016 from Lewdown, has moved to London to work and will only play occasional for his former club. He is dual registered with Hampstead.

Galhenage has resumed his university studies in South Africa and can’t spare the time to travel overseas to play.

All-rounder Tom Drake has committed to a move from Barton.

Alex Fannon, Birmingham born but resident in Australia, is coming over from Victoria to play for Torquay as well. He opens the bowling for East Belmont CC in Geelong.

For Fannon it is a case of coming home to improve his cricket as he lived in Marldon near Paignton before moving to Australia with his family.

Fannon is a sportsman for all seasons – football in the winter, cricket in the summer – and hopes a season with Torquay will improve his cricket no end.

Often my football has got in the way of improving my cricket due to missing out on pre-seasons because of my football commitments,” said Fannon.

I am now looking forward to broadening my skill set under the “invaluable guidance of Torquay CC without interference of my other sports commitments.

“I cannot wait for the journey ahead playing at the Rec.”

Fannon has done almost every job on the team sheet for East Belmont since joining the club seven years ago.

“I have found myself doing almost everything on the cricket field, from being a wicketkeeper at the age of 15 to opening the bowling in a lot senior sides I competed in,” said Fannon.

“I have batted in at a variety of positions in the order, from opening all the way through. Mostly I slot in the middle order.

“I like to think I offer something no matter the task asked of me.”