“We’ll stick by promotion heroes”

Cricket action at the Polegrove, Brockley Road, Bexhill. 'Bexhill CC Vrs St James's Montefiore CC (Bexhill fielding)'20.08.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Bexhill Bowler Shawn Johnson
Cricket action at the Polegrove, Brockley Road, Bexhill. 'Bexhill CC Vrs St James's Montefiore CC (Bexhill fielding)'20.08.11.'Picture by: TONY COOMBES PHOTOGRAPHY'Bexhill Bowler Shawn Johnson

Bexhill will give their promotion heroes the chance to prove their worth in the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division.

First team manager Hamish Russell says the club will not be looking to recruit a clutch of new faces after clinching promotion as Division Two runners-up two weeks ago.

Russell, who will spend the winter coaching at Northern Districts grade club in Sydney, said: “It will be nice to pick up a couple of people maybe.

“If they’re of that much quality we’ll never say no, but it needs to suit us. We want to develop the side we’ve got. Maybe last time (Bexhill won promotion in 2009) we looked to try and change too many things.

“We had four or five people come into the team to try and make sure we stayed up. They were really good guys and did us a good job, but these boys that have got us up haven’t let us down and we’ve got to give them every opportunity to go up and show what they can do.

“They’re a group, they’re all together and they’ll be another year older. It’s been really nice to watch this very young side developing and I think Roffey have proved you don’t need to recruit five or six players to stay up.”

Bexhill’s squad contained only around three survivors from the side which went up two years ago in Malcolm Johnson, Steve Phillimore and captain Chris Topp, and featured a clutch of talented young players who have arrived or come through since then.

“It’s a completely different side,” continued Russell. “We probably had our most experienced side (of the season) out on the pitch against Worthing (in their final game) and the combined age of our opening bowlers was 33.

“We had that nucleus of players. We knew Toppy would take wickets, and Malcolm’s a quality player and will score a few runs. After that we were an unknown somewhat. For all the talent that we’d got, they were very untested.

“But we’ve surprised everybody and there’s been match-winning performances you wouldn’t necessarily have expected at the beginning of the year.”

See today’s Bexhill Observer for the full article.