Bexhill coach: Relegation not the end of the world

Matt Peters batting for Bexhill in their most recent home game, against Haywards Heath, two weeks ago. Picture by Simon Newstead
Matt Peters batting for Bexhill in their most recent home game, against Haywards Heath, two weeks ago. Picture by Simon Newstead

Bexhill Cricket Club coach Hamish Russell said ‘it’s not the end of the world’ after the first team suffered a second successive relegation.

The Polegrove-based outfit finished bottom of Sussex League Division Two after losing its final game of the season away to Bognor Regis last weekend.

Russell said: “I don’t think it’s a catastrophe, it’s a huge disappointment. We probably need to build some confidence and start again. We’ve blooded some young cricketers and the division below is probably a better medium for them to start. I don’t think it’s the end of the world.

“The boys have just forgotten how to win. They’re certainly not bad cricketers at all, there’s some talented lads.

See also: * Bexhill relegated after final day defeat

* Bexhill hoping to pull off great escape
* Bexhill slip to foot of table after defeat

“They went through a tough season last year and they seem to have brought that into this year as well. They’re a couple of wins from getting some confidence.”

Bexhill, who finished third in the Premier Division in 2016 and fourth in 2015, will line up in Division Three East next summer.

“We’ve lost 15-20 players in the last two years and we were always going to rely on two or three people to keep us mid-table this year - and that didn’t work out,” continued Russell.

“Maybe we’ve been punching above our weight for the last few years. We’ve finished third in the Premier League, we’ve had the likes of Sam Roberts, Callum Guest and Malcolm Johnson churning things out year after year.

“You forget just how good those cricketers are and how good it was to keep them for as long as we did.”

Despite dropping down another division, Russell doesn’t envisage further player departures over the winter.

Bexhill will at least have less travelling to do next summer, which might aid their efforts to retain/attract players.

“We sat down after the game on Saturday and there wasn’t one person in the room that said they were going anywhere for next year,” Russell added.

“It’s easy to say that on September 1st, but I spoke to everybody personally as well and that genuinely seems to be the case - people do want to stay and put things right.

“We’ve got good young players coming through and we’ve got to make sure we keep that pathway going - and everybody wants to do that.

“There’s definitely some new blood needed, but as much as anything it’s about getting the best out of the players we’ve got.”