By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
PLYMOUTH Civil Service & Roborough have been busy signing-up new players as the countdown to the 2020 season gathers pace.
PCS&R CC are hoping to move into their new ground at the Manadon Sports Hub in Plymouth before the new season starts on May 2.
And players who had drifted away from the club during a nomadic period stretching back more than a decade are returning to the club in anticipation of the move.
Brian Gaylard, who has been with Plymstock since 2016, has been lined up to return and will replace Nick Read as 1st XI captain.
Batter Rob Gaylard, Brian’s brother, is committed to playing again regularly after a three-year hiatus.
Seam bowler James Sharpe has re-joined after a spell playing B Division cricket with Ivybridge.
And all-rounder Rob Walker has returned to PCS&R following three seasons with Plympton.
Harris Nadeen, who bats and bowls, was registered with Plymouth in 2019, but has switched allegiance having played a handful of friendlies with PCS&R last season.
As Plymouth CS&R have re-entered a 2nd XI in the league for 2020 after a gap of two seasons, new players were a priority. Adrian Vickery will resume his old job as 2nd XI captain once the season starts.
Officials from PCS&R have been battling to find a new home for more than five years and set their sights on Manadon early in the process.
Long-gone Woodland Fort CC used to play on the ground on St Peter’s Road, which was once a sports facility owned by the Ministry of Defence.
The new facility includes a floodlit artificial grass sports pitch, adult and junior grass football pitches, an artificial cricket pitch, a square big enough for eight grass tracks, and a four-team changing pavilion
Investment from the Plymouth Argyle Community Trust, Plymouth City Council, the Premier League, the FA, Football Foundation, Sport England and the England and Wales Cricket Board made the development possible.
A pavilion has been built, work completed on a playing surface and all that’s needed is approval from ground inspectors that the cricket square is fit for play.
PCS&R will soon have a place to call home again having lived a semi-peripatetic existence since 2008.
As Plymouth Civil Service the club played at the Beacon Down complex operated by the Civil Service Staff Association from their formation in 1970 up to 2008.
After the centre closed it was sold to a building company and the site redeveloped as houses.
Civil tried to obtain the former United Services ground in Devonport, but lost out to Plymouth CC, who were also homeless after losing their Peverell Park home. Plymouth moved there in 2010, the same year Civil merged with Roborough CC.
Plymouth CS&R played 1st XI and 2nd XI games at Buckfastleigh between 2009-2012. The now-defunct 3rd XI had an arrangement to play at the Sir John Hunt Community College.
Roborough’s ground was home to the 2nd XI from 2012 and by 2014 all games were being played there.