Royals pin their hopes on youth
Royals will field a young, developing side in their return to the Albany Cricket Association A-grade competition for the 2017-18 season and are focused on making the finals for the first time since 2014-15.
After only fielding a B-grade side last season, and getting knocked out in the elimination final, the Lions have re-joined the top tier and will also field a B-grade team.
The Lions last played A-grade finals in 2014-15 before finishing last in 2015-16 with only four wins.
Their premiership drought stretches back to 2002-03.
Captain Jack Hastie will again lead the club and is expected to play a pivotal all-round role for the Lions, who have recruited plenty of young talent during the off-season.
Talented teenager Tom Wolfe has made the switch from Railways, while former Grammar Griffins batsman Digby Nuthall will strengthen the Lions’ top order.
The Lions will also add English import Shameer Ahmed, who joins them from Birmingham and District Premier Cricket League division 2 club Old Elizabethans, bringing vast experience as an all-rounder.
Despite fielding a very young side, Hastie said he was confident the Lions could challenge for finals in their return.
“Although we are trying to further develop our young talent, we expect to be winning any game against any team we come up against,” he said.
“Whether its Railways or Denmark, we want to be challenging every team out there.
“The expectation like anyone else is to play finals.”
The Lions’ young brigade, headed by Ted Batchelor, Nuthall, Wolfe and Marcus Mellon, will be their focus this season, while veteran Ian Attwell and vice-captain Scott Worsfold provide senior quality.
“We are very keen to develop a stack of our younger players who all have the potential to play A-grade cricket at a high standard,” Hastie said.
“Guys like Jordyn Pietrala, Matt Lehaney, Marcus Mellon, Jeremy Ellis and the returning Cohen Chapman are some of the names we expect to play during the year.”
The Lions start their new campaign against Denmark on Saturday, October 21.
Last season Fourth in B-grade
Captain Jack Hastie
Most runs Ian Attwell (406)
Most wickets Jack Hastie (20)
Key players Digby Nuthall, Ted Batchelor, Scott Worsfold, Shameer Ahmed
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