Ashington cricket coach highlights need for a professional
Ashington Cricket Club’s first team coach Stevie Williams highlighted the need for the Langwell Crescent club to engage a professional – if they want to progress into the North East Premier League’s top tier, writes Brian Bennett.
He said: “If we are going to have aspirations of promotion we will have to get a professional. You look at the teams who were at the top last season – they have all got a good pro (professional) or two or three paid players - which we don’t do. I am proud to say that we have ten lads who have all come through the junior section here and a new lad who has joined us and who has fitted in. Even then the players who come in from the second team are Ashington lads as well and that’s what we are about. We are not about paying loads of players but to be competitive in this league (division one) and the premier division it’s proving that you have to have a professional.”
Ashington beat Castle Eden in the final game of the campaign: “Our lads played well and won comfortably,” he said, “They (Castle Eden) were without their pro and Ben Harmison didn’t play for us - so it was a level playing field. We are getting to know how to play on our ground too – and how to chase down scores on it but without a professional we are not quite ready to go into the premier league. However, it means we will have another season to learn; we will be a year wiser and older and maybes a little bit stronger so my observation would be to have a ‘good go’ next year.”
Williams highlighted the difference between his own club and an outfit from the Premier Division after the Mighty Acorns had lost the final of the Banks Salver against Chester le Street: “I sent end of season material out after the final rather than after our last league game and my main point was I thought we bowled well and fielded very well in the final but they (Chester le Street) were outstanding in the field,” he said, “They are a well established club and we saw what the level is like and if we have got anything about us we have to aspire to get to those levels. We had them 90-7 and have to learn to finish teams off and look to get them all out for 120 – not 180 as Chester le Street finished with because then they are back in the game. Everything they did was another level above us – batting, bowling and fielding. We were decent in two of those departments - but not good enough with the bat and Chester le Street finished fourth in the premier division.”
Ashington CC chairman Bob Dunning said: “We have a very strong group of players at both first and second team levels but we are always looking to strengthen. We have a target in mind for next year’s professional and we are working towards tying up the contractual and visa details as quickly as we can.”