AFTER finishing one win off a position in the newly formed Worcestershire Premier League last season, promotion back to the top flight is the ambition of Colwall next year.

The side's seventh-place finish in Division 1 last season saw them just miss out on elevation to the newly-instigated Premier League, but club chairman Kim Berry said that all the signs were good for a rapid return to the top flight.

He was speaking at the club's recent AGM after being re-elected into the role.

The new Premier League was formed following the re-organisation of the Birmingham League which saw a host of teams placed back into the Worcestershire County League.

“If we had won our last game at Worcester we would have qualified for the Premier League, but playing in Division One next season will represent a real challenge," he said.

"The new league structure is a welcome change and we are looking forward to it. We have already recruited a couple of new players and all the signs are encouraging for next year.”

Berry warned that the club would need to improve in terms of commitment and communication because there was strong competition from other clubs in the area, but he felt it was in good shape and could look forward to a positive future, especially in the development of young players.

He added: “We must look after our youngsters, particularly the junior sections. There is a problem of transition to the senior teams but we want to develop and retain our younger players.

"This has to be a priority and in conjunction with Herefordshire Cricket a number of new initiatives are being put in place to deliver this."

Berry confirmed that the club would again be fielding four senior teams next season, with two teams in the Worcestershire League and the thirds and fourths in the Marches League, while the club would also be fielding a side in the newly-instigated Worcester Evening League, captained by Ben Febery with Ben Wheeler as vice-captain.

Ben Cooke will again captain the first team with Febery as vice-captain, while the second team will again be captained by Will Bishop who enjoyed a very successful campaign last season scoring 650 runs at an average of 65 and leading the side to sixth place in their division.

Berry praised the efforts of long-standing groundsman, Derek Brimmell and assistant Harry Evans for producing excellent pitches in a difficult summer and thanked everyone involved in the thriving junior section which had seen over 170 children using the ground on Friday evening, including 60 girls registered in 2018.

He also paid tribute to the club’s senior side, the CLOGS who were becoming increasingly involved and growing in importance to the club.

“Colwall offers something for everyone, young and old and with the splendid facilities we offer I am very proud of a lot of the things we have achieved," Berry added.

Prior to the AGM the club enjoyed a successful annual dinner and prize presentation.

Alex Jenkins collected the Bannister trophy for services to the club while first team awards went to Fergus Cameron (batting), Michael Gooch (bowling) and Febery (young player).

Will Bishop (batting) and Steve Coffey (bowling) took the second team honours while Steve Wright (batting) and Dick Tugwell (bowling) were the third team recipients and Simon Oliver (senior player) and Mark Klasnikov (young player) were the fourth team recipients.

Colwall begin their indoor net sessions at Malvern School on February 5, when current players and prospective new members are welcomed.