Morgan takes up Priory captaincy

John Morgan is preparing for a third season as captain of Hastings Priory Cricket Club (SUS-140823-155007002)
John Morgan is preparing for a third season as captain of Hastings Priory Cricket Club (SUS-140823-155007002)

John Morgan is back for a third season as captain of Hastings Priory Cricket Club some eight years after his last.

The 37-year-old was elected first team skipper for 2015 at the club’s AGM last week having previously been at the helm in 2006 and 2007.

Morgan has the task of leading the club back to the Sussex Premier League after moving up from vice-captain to succeed George Campbell, who stepped down after three seasons in charge.

He said: “As a senior player I thought maybe I could take over the leadership and let the youngsters get their feet under the table.

“The whole point of this year is to bounce back into the Premier League and the last thing you want to do is put the pressure and workload of being captain on their shoulders. This way we can let them concentrate on their cricket.”

Priory were relegated from the Premier League for the first time ever last summer despite knocking out champions Roffey en route to the ECB Royal London Club Championship last eight.

“When you look back on the whole season, performance-wise it wasn’t massively disappointing other than the final game against Bexhill,” continued Morgan. “There were about seven games where we could’ve got over the line.

“We’ve got a good talented bunch of lads and to the best of my knowledge we’ve only lost Leo Cammish. The boy wanted to stay with us, but Sussex have said he needs to be playing Premier League cricket.”

Ahead of his 21st successive season with the Horntye Park-based club, Morgan has asked teenage spinner Elliot Hooper, who is spending the winter in Australia, to be his vice-captain.

The club is in negotiations with an Australian batsman who can bowl a bit to be its overseas player. He plays at the same club in his homeland as Josh Poysden, the former Priory spinner who featured for Warwickshire last summer and who dismissed Australia skipper Michael Clarke at the weekend.

Priory will begin their league programme with a visit from Lindfield - one of several new opponents for them - on Saturday May 9.

Before that they have friendlies lined-up at home to Rye on April 18 and away to Mayfield on April 25, plus a Gray-Nicolls Sussex T20 Cup first round tie at home to Eastbourne on May 2.

Keith Hobbs will captain the seconds and Gary Sargent the re-formed fourths (the third team skipper is to be announced), while Natasha Maharaj-Newman will lead the ladies’ side.

Priory are also keen to hear from anybody keen on scoring for the club. Any interested parties should make contact via the Hastings Priory Twitter handle or Facebook page.