Brockhampton's Chris Boroughs is named Birmingham League's player of the year. (From Hereford Times)
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Brockhampton's Chris Boroughs is named Birmingham League's player of the year.
10:03am Thursday 23rd January 2014 in Sport
BROCKHAMPTON may have missed out on top spot in the Birmingham League Premier Division by one place.
But the villagers can celebrate having the top player in the competition after star all-rounder Chris Boroughs was named the Birmingham League Player of the Year for 2013.
"It's a very nice accolade to get," said the 38-year-old. "I suppose it's recognition of the hard work that I've put in over the years.
"It is always nice to get a personal award but really it is how well we do as a team that counts. I could not do what I do without the full support of everyone else in the team - you have to see the bigger picture."
For the former Herefordshire captain, it is the second time that he has carried off the award.
"I won it before in 1997 when I was with Stourbridge," he said.
"I grew up in Stourbridge and was involved with their first-team from an early age.
"I played against a number of talented players and that helps you to set your personal goals high.
"There are a number of different sides in the league now but I still get a good deal of personal satisfaction.
"I came to Brockhampton seven or eight years ago because of my connection with the county side and it was the aim to improve the fortunes of a club side to be the best we could.
"Ever since I have been there, Brockhampton has been a pleasure to be around and I have felt a sense of belonging and an affinity with the club.
"I'm very pleased that I have been able to help with getting the club where it is now."
Boroughs, who also previously captained Walsall, joined Brockhampton for the 2007 season and his presence has coincided with a period of unparalleled success for the village club.
They have progressed from Division One of the Worcestershire County League through all of the divisions of the Birmingham League to second place in the Premier Division in 2013, the highest placing ever achieved by any county club.
The contribution made by Boroughs during the rise can hardly be overstated.
His figures as a batsman or as a bowler would be impressive on their own but when combined make it easy to see why he has been named the league's top player.
He has made 4,680 runs in his seven league seasons with the club at an average of almost 42, with seven centuries.
On 23 occasions, he has taken five or more wickets in an innings bringing him a total haul of 356.
He has only failed to take 50 wickets in a season on two occasions, in 2010 when he managed 48 and in the rain-ruined 2012 season where his 32 victims still led the way for Brockhampton.
Throw in 59 catches as well, mostly taken in the slips, and it's easy to see why the villagers have won more than 55% of the games he has taken part in, losing fewer than 20%.
After finishing runners-up last season, Brockhampton will again be aiming to be among the title-contenders when the season gets underway in 2014.
But Boroughs acknowledges that it will be far from easy to make the step to top spot.
"You always hope to be better than before but no-one is under any illusions that , just because we were runners-up last season, it will be easy to come first," he said.
"Shrewsbury, who won the league, were a very good side and far and away the best team in the league.
"Himley and Kidderminster will look to be stronger and other sides like Walsall and Barnt Green would have been disappointed with where they finished last time.
Although Boroughs will be a key performer again in 2014, he's excited by some of the talent coming through at Brockhampton.
"It was important that the second team got promoted as they need to be playing at the highest level they can," he said.
"At the end of last season, Will Barrett and Jamie McIroy showed promise with the ball. They showed quality under pressure and stood up to the responsibility - all the early signs are good."