By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
PREMIER champions Heathcoat are looking for a new captain after title-winning skipper Jackson Thompson’s unexpected decision to stand down.
Jackson did what no other Heathcoat skipper has managed in the 41-years since the club joined the Devon Senior League, which was deliver a Premier Division title.
In his first and apparently only summer at the helm, Thompson led Heathcoat to 15 wins in an 18-game season.
Such was Heathcoat’s domination of the Premier Division they had the title in the bag with two games to go.
James Hunt, representing league sponsors Tolchards Drinks, presented Thompson with the Premier Division trophy before Heathcoat played Exeter in the final game of the season.
Thompson, who will be 34 by the time the 2020 season starts, said with a young family to consider he had to re-asses his priorities.
“It feels the right time to step away and allow someone else to take over the mantle and propel Heathcoat forward.
“With my young family I feel that I wouldn't be able to do justice to the requirements of the Heathcoat captain's role and felt I should pass it on to another capable person.”
Thompson may be stepping down as Heathcoat captain, but hopes to carry in playing for the club.
“I would like to continue playing in 2020 and make more of an impact with the bat and ball and support the talent in the team and the club,” said Thompson.
“I have offered to continue playing for Heathcoat in 2020, subject to negotiations and discussions.”
Thompson, who had a crack at the pro game with Gloucestershire at Middlesex, took over as Heathcoat captain from Peter Randerson.
Keeper-batter Randerson is likely to be a candidate for the captaincy, although there are a number of senior players at Knightshayes with experience of the role.
Former Devon batsman Liam Lewis led the club for two seasons (2010-2011) before switching to Sidmouth in 2012.
Rob Holman, another ex-Devon batsman, had a spell as captain with former club Exeter in 2011-12.
Jack Dart, who was vice-captain to Thompson last season, may also throw his hat into the ring.