All rounder Stephen Boyd has made an unexpected return to the north east and Go North East Northumberland & Tyneside Senior League outfit Ashington.
The 32-year-old, who left the area a few years ago, said: “I’m looking to regain a bit of fitness and find a bit of form and look for a regular role in the first team.
“I missed all of last season with an eye injury but I have played a little bit this term for Barrow in Furness.
“Everything has come about suddenly but there was only going to be one option of club for me to join.
“I trained with some of the Ashington guys over the winter when I commuted back and forward between Cumbria and home.
“It’s nice to be back around familiar surroundings and amongst some of the lads whom I remember as junior cricketers.
“They were in and around the periphery at the club then but are now looking like established first team players, whilst seeing the likes of Neil Wood and Simon Prudhoe, whom I have played cricket with for 15 years, is also good.”
Boyd received a late first team call-up ahead of Saturday’s clash at Tynedale at Priors Flat where the game was drawn after being abandoned.
“I was pencilled in to play for the seconds so it came as a bit of a shock,” he said.
“Greg Williams told me that he was looking for a senior bowler to deputise as Paul Rutherford was unavailable, and I was happy to oblige.”
Boyd believes he still has something to offer for a Colliers outfit who should be aiming for a top four finish.
“I watched a bit of Ashington’s overseas player Ani Singh last year when I took in a few games towards the end of the season and obviously he’s a quality cricketer,” said Boyd.
“After comprehensively winning promotion the season beforehand, I was quite surprised how well the first XI did last term when they finished as league runners-up.
“It will be hard to repeat that again this year but we have got to look at a top four finish.
“That should be a priority, then if we put a run together towards the back end of the season we could sneak up on someone.
“It’s just making sure we are in the mix for the last third of the season.
“From a personal angle, I still think I have quite a bit to offer at first team level once I get loosened up and regain some cricket confidence.”
Skipper Greg Williams said: “It’s great to have Stephen back – he’s one of the best players we have had at the club in the last ten years.
“He is a great cricketer – a good all rounder – and it’s a massive bonus to get him for the second half of the programme.
“If I had to pick a cricketer to come into the side at this stage of the campaign to strengthen us then Stephen would have been the ideal choice.
“He will score runs with the bat and is capable of bowling teams out with the ball. I’m over the moon.”