CANON FROME captain Andy Lloyd believes the key to the future success of the club is to bridge the gap between the juniors and the first team.

The club had to sacrifice its second team two years ago due to a lack of players but Lloyd believes the success of the youth sides means the club could have a second string again soon.

He said: “We’re looking on track to getting a second team back next season.

“We lost a few years with the juniors but, at the moment , we’ve got a strong set up with under-9s, -11s and -13s.”

He also said the reason for the second side being folded was nothing more than a lack of numbers.

He said: “We’ve got a relatively young side here and, unfortunately, some players went on to university or found work in other counties.”

Canon Frome have focused on their junior program since the second side folded and Lloyd is thrilled with the amount of interest they have had.

He said: “We have had up to 50 people turn up for junior training on a Friday which is absolutely excellent.”

“We need to bridge the gap between the 15-year-olds and going on to play adult cricket.”

He also said he thinks this is the best way to build the club up to where he thinks they should be.

He said: “I’m hoping those 13 and 14-year-olds can play a bit of Sunday cricket just to get them involved in playing adult cricket.

“Then, hopefully, we can build up our second team with those players so it’s half adults and half juniors to build the club back up to a two-team semi-strong club.”

The club are the reigning Worcestershire League Division Six champions and are on course to repeat their success this season despite a losing draw at the weekend and Lloyd is pleased with the progress.

He said: “This season is going very well actually – we’re top of the league and we had a really good game against Birlingham who are now second.

“We’ve got a crunch game against them second-from-last match of the season and, all being well, that might be the title game.”

He also said the plan at the start of the season was to show the Worcestershire League that they can compete at a higher level.

He said: “The plan for the team at the start of the season was to win this league by as many points as we can.”

Lloyd is the leading runs scorer in the division with 258 but he is keen to stress it’s more of team effort at Canon Frome.

He said: “My form has gone alright, we’re always up against a variety of teams but I’m happy.

Andy Rodgers has scored 235 runs and was the leading run-scorer last season with 605 but, this year, the runs have been spread around.

Lloyd said: “It’s been quite good this year because we haven’t relied on one or two people to come in and get all the runs and wickets.”

He has also taken 16 wickets this season with Luke Cottrell taking 20 and the two players have been the leading wicket takers for the club for a couple seasons.