CORNWOOD will have three new Devon League captains for the season ahead.
Devon Lions all-rounder Matt Skeemer has taken over as 1st XI captain from Elliot Staddon.
As long-serving James Horgan has stepped aside as second team captain so Lee Baker will skipper the team.
Charles Knight continues as 3rd XI captain. Alex Passman is the new skipper of Cornwood’s 4th XI.
Running four sides in the Devon League isn’t easy – Paignton, Plymouth and Bovey Tracey have all tried it with varying degrees of success – yet Cornwood seem able to do it.
The arrival of some displaced players from the defunct Dartington & Totnes 3rd XI will help Cornwood sort out teams on selection night.
Vice-chairman Nick Goodliffe said when the new captains met to talk strategy for the season ahead they all agreed on one thing.
“They quickly realised that there will be healthy numbers when considering having to field four teams in the newly restructured Devon Cricket League,” said Goodliffe.
“Some new players have joined from another local club who have folded their 3rd XI, which will help on those sometimes challenging selection nights.”
New skipper Skeemer will have largely the same squad of players to select the 1st XI from.
“With perhaps one or two retirements, there will be opportunities for some of the clubs promising younger players to step forward and claim a regular spot, said Goodliffe.
“The club is also hoping to attract a few targeted players who, it is felt, will add strength in key positions.”
One player already in place for the 2018 assault on the A Division is ex-Pakistan keeper-batsman Mo Salman.
Salman has been assisting Cornwood as a player and latterly player-coach for more than a decade, although not every season.
“Sal was a late arrival last season, coming to the club’s aid after they suffered a number of setbacks selecting their overseas player, and only managed to play in the second half,” said Goodliffe.
“By his standards he had a disappointing time with the bat, but he more than made up for it with his energetic and enthusiastic approach to coaching at both junior and senior level.
“His arrival last season, gave everyone a real lift at the club, training sessions were well structured and players at all ability levels were seeing improvements in their game.”
Salman will be planning and leading coaching activities across the whole club as well as batting top order and turning his arm over when required.
“He will be coming forward with fresh ideas from his Professional Coaching Academy which he runs in his home city of Faisalabad,” said Goodliffe.
Cornwood start their 10-week indoor winter nets programme on Tuesday, February 20 at Devonport High School for Boys, Sports Hall (7.00-9.00 pm). Any new male players who maybe interested in participating will be welcome. Contact Skeemer (07599 006550) for more details.
Cornwood will be running four ladies nets sessions during that 10-week period.
The first dedicated session is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6. Interested players can contact the new ladies captain Hannah Bagshaw Bale (07598 267523) for more information.
Cornwood are running two additional colts teams in 2018 and have spaces at under-12, under-14 and under-16 age groups.
To find out more about the club’s coaching plans and winter training sessions, call colts manager Goodliffe (07801 178329) or mail him on firstname.lastname@example.org