Davies takes over as Exmouth chairman

Cricket at Exmouth - Richard Baggs hits out in a T20 game

MARK Davies has taken over as chairman of Exmouth following the resignation of Ashton Collinge after a year and half in the job.

Davies has been chairman of cricket in recent seasons and also a colts’ manager – a job he will be continuing.

The new man at the helm was introduced to the club aged four by his granddad Fred Ley – and has been part of it almost ever since.

The ‘almost’ relates to a spell at arch-rivals Budleigh Salterton, where Davies was 1st XI captain for three years in the early 1990s.

“I went there for four years and ended up captain for the last three,” says Davies now.

Davies was Exmouth’s XI captain in 2001 and 2002, a low point in the club’s history when the all-conquering side of the 1990s had virtually broken up.

Exmouth won eight Premier titles between 1990-1999 – they have won it just once since and had two spells in the A Division.

Davies, 48, is just about to start his third stint as Exmouth’s 2nd XI captain having done it before betwen 2006-07 and 2010-2011.

Matt Tarry was lined-up to replace Nic Bolt as 2nd XI skipper following the latter’s unexpected departure to Budleigh Salterton.

With a 15-year-old-son playing at the club, and his wife running the catering operation, the family is part of the fabric of the club.

Davies has an agenda to take Exmouth forward, much of which is about opening up the club.

“Cricket has a participation problem these days and we are no different to many other clubs,” said Davies.

“We have lost our sense of identity at Exmouth and need to get it back to connect with potential and up-and-coming players.

“This season we have a good mix in the first team – the old guard of Lye, Baggs and Dawson, together with talented, younger players like Fin marks and Dan Pyle and Billy Rudolph, who has come to us from Ottery.

“We won’t be having an overseas player this season – I hear Sidmouth aren’t either – but I am happy with the mix we have.

“What we have to work on is the 2nd XI and also the 3rd XI, which is looking a bit thin.

“The first two names on the team sheet will be myself and Roger Wensley – who is well into his 50s now. The next oldest will be 17 or 18.

“The nucleus of the 2nd XI will be last year’s successful under-16 team. The younger lads are ready to step up and the future of the club through looks very rosy.”

“The third team is a worry, but then I am sure we will not be alone and, ideally, we’d recruit a few more players to help with the 3rd XI.”

The new regime Davies is running wants to create a more holistic club with all players practicing together on training nights.

“It has been great over the first few weeks to see our experienced, senior players helping the youngsters at training,” said Davies.

Training night is Wednesday evening from 6pm. New faces welcome.

Davies’ former job as chairman of cricket has been filled by Lawrence Greenway.

“Lawrence is articulate and a terrific organiser and I am sure he will prove to be a huge asset in the role,” said Davies.

“It is an important task to help ensure we get players out and into the levels of play that best suit them.”