Wells Looking to Build on Successful Year
Halstead Club Captain Josh Wells has set his sights on building on last year’s third place finish in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division One.
The Star Stile outfit will host Shepherd Neame Essex Premier League side Chelmsford in a pre-season curtain-raiser on Sunday (14th).
Wells goes into his fifth campaign as first-team captain off the back of a competitive third-placed finish last year.
He said: ‘It was a big improvement on previous years and shows we are making great progress.’
‘The run of defeats toward the end of the season was disappointing as it pushed us out of title contention, but we have every reason to believe we can be in with a chance this year’.
‘The players we brought in last year really added to the side. Josh King and Craig Spooner both made big contributions with bat and ball and Josh Ruthven made a good impact on the side once he was back from university.’
‘Kingy cleaned up at the awards evening [He won 1st XI, NECL XI and Young Player of the Year] and has now taken on the NECL XI captaincy. Craig will be captain of the new T20 side and Josh scored his first 100 for the club as part of the NECL team that won the league. They’ve all really embraced what HCC is about.’
There has been a turnover in players at Star Stile over the winter, with leading run-scorer Chris Huntington stepping away from the game and wicket-keeper Sam Chapman and leg-spinner Andy Charlton moving to New Zealand and Australia respectively.
However, Wells sees this as an opportunity for the younger players at the club to step-up and take opportunities.
‘I hope that people like Liam Jones will be in and around the first team picture. It’s great to be able to make use of the Juniors system and have players that have come through the club like I did.’
‘Hopefully seeing myself, Ed Clark, Joe Morris, Harry Pritchard, Sam Walter, Charlie Douglas-Hughes and Chris Rayner all in the 1st XI set-up will spur players on and see that there is a path to 1st XI cricket’.
‘We are still in the process of recruiting a couple of players to supplement the 1st XI squad, so are excited about the year ahead’.
Outside of the 1st XI, the Saturday captains of Andy Rose (2nd XI) and Mark Bloomfield (3rd XI) remain the same, whilst Josh King takes over from Joe Morris as NECL Division One captain and Craig Spooner heads up the newly formed T20 side.
Halstead 1st XI open their league campaign on Saturday 20th April at Woolpit whilst the 2nd XI host Easton at Star Stile. The 3rd XI do not begin until the 4th May, the NECL XI on the 12th May and the T20 XI on the 5th May.