Johnathan Haffenden is looking forward to having another crack at captaining Bexhill Cricket Club.
The 31-year-old batsman was elected first team captain for the 2015 Sussex Premier League campaign at the club’s AGM last Friday night.
He said: “I’m looking forward to it. Bexhill’s a great club, you can’t fault it. I’ve got a lot of mates down there and you’re playing at the highest level of amateur cricket.”
Haffenden previously captained Bexhill for three years from 2008-10, winning promotion from Division Two in the middle season. He also skippered Sidley for a couple of seasons during their days as a Sussex League club and therefore brings plenty of captaincy experience to the table.
“I quite like getting involved in the game and I quite enjoy doing it,” continued Haffenden. “It makes you think about your cricket. I’ve always tried to influence the game and hopefully I can do that with the captaincy as well as the bat.
“And with so many young players, seeing as I’m one of the veterans, hopefully I can pass on a bit of wisdom. The club is in quite a strong position with the youth coming through, and it feels like it’s probably a good time to take over and help some of them, more than just as a captain.”
After returning to Bexhill from Sidley, Haffenden enjoyed a vintage 2013 season. He scored 751 league runs at an average of 57.77 with five fifties and two hundreds as Bexhill clinched promotion from Division Two.
Haffenden was also a regular fixture in the Bexhill side which finished seventh in the Premier League last summer, scoring a match-winning 92 in a crucial victory at home to Three Bridges.
“The side will probably have learnt from last year and we just keep growing each year,” Haffenden added. “Some of the games we lost and probably shouldn’t have done we can hopefully turn into draws and wins.”
Dean Crawford will be returning for a second season as overseas player and the opening bowler will also be Haffenden’s vice-captain. This time the Australian should come with plenty of overs under his belt having arrived last year following an injury lay-off.
“The cricket he plays back home and the players he’s played with, even though he’s young, he knows a lot,” said Haffenden. “He’s a top bloke and he’s probably got a point to prove this year. I’ve spoken to him a few times and he’s really keen to come back.”
Bexhill will begin their league campaign at home to Brighton & Hove on Saturday May 9. Before that they will host Hellingly in the Sussex Gray-Nicolls T20 Cup on May 2 and travel to Hartley Country Club in the ECB National Club Championship on April 25.
Neil Blatchly, Steve Phillimore, Derrick Fuller and Simon Steer will captain the seconds, thirds, fourths and fifths respectively.