Youth development the main goal for Ashington first team’s new skipper

Greg Williams-new Ashington Cricket captain.
Greg Williams-new Ashington Cricket captain.

GREG Williams is following in his father’s footsteps after being appointed captain of Ashington Cricket Club’s first XI.

For Williams, 32, it will be his first taste at being at the helm after progressing through the ranks of the Langwell Crescent club.

But he is not fazed by the task ahead – nor is he demanding his side make an immediate return to the ‘A’ division of the Wellstream Northumberland and Tyneside Senior League following the Colliers relegation last term.

Williams, who has taken over the reins from Michael Thewlis, said: “I’m not worried about my new role.

“And the fact that we have been relegated and are now in the second tier will be good for some of the young kids to develop like batsman Andrew Gray and bowler Callum Storey.

“Both were up against it last season, not only against professionals but from Andrew’s point of view when he went in with few runs on the board whilst if we got a low score, there was not much for Callum to bowl at.”

Promotion would be an added extra as far as Williams is concerned.

“I think we would like to come straight back up but we have also got to be realistic and if it happens, it happens,” he said.

“The development of the younger players at the club is the main goal for us whilst promotion would simply be a bonus.

“We need to get to a situation where as a batting side we put runs on the board and not to be in a pressure situation.”

Williams will have wicketkeeper Daniel Grant as his right hand man with the youngster also taking his first official appointment at this level, and although the new skipper admits that the club have got a couple of new players ‘in the pipeline’ there is nothing confirmed.

Meanwhile Williams will be following in the footsteps of his father Stephen, who is still going strong at the age of 55, playing for Ashington seconds as well as being captain of Northumberland over 50s.

Williams senior, who skippered Ashington first XI in three spells and who has also led the second team to three championship titles, said: “Greg knows how I captain a team because he played under me when Ashington won the league in 2001.

“He has got to lead by example and if the club are involved in tight games, he has got to take responsibility.

“He has to bat where necessary and bowl when short in that department.

“He can call on me if he wants any advice and I wish him all the best.”