COLWALL Cricket club are looking to experience to launch a successful season in the Worcestershire County League Premier Division this summer, after gaining promotion from Division 1 last year.

Following a stint as vice-captain last season, James Wagstaff, will captain the first team in the forthcoming campaign, exactly 27 years after he made his Colwall debut as a 15-year-old.

Wagstaff, 42, who went on to enjoy a productive career as a leg-spin bowler and hard-hitting bat with Worcester in the Birmingham League and also with Derbyshire 2nd X1, was recently elected to the captaincy to replace Ben Cooke, captain for the past two seasons, who is moving away to work.

Backing him up as vice-captain this year is another former Birmingham League campaigner, Andrew Robertson, who joined Colwall at the beginning of last season and made an instant impact as an all-rounder in helping to seal promotion for the club.

Robertson, a top-order batsman and left-arm swing bowler, featured prominently with bat and ball from the outset and went on to win the club’s first team player of the year award presented at a very successful annual dinner attended by over 90 people last October.

With this highly experienced pair at the helm Colwall hope to build on their successful campaign last year and establish themselves as a leading premier division outfit, although Wagstaff is aware that the task will not be easy.

“These are exciting times for the club and it would be great to see some more local talent join us for the challenges ahead,” he said.

“What more could you want. We are playing at a high standard, we have a beautiful ground and a great family-friendly club,” he added.

Club chairman, Kim Berry, is delighted that Wagstaff and Robertson are in tandem for the new campaign and also with the way the club is progressing, with lots of vital close season work being undertaken.

“A huge amount of work has gone in over the last three years. Revenues are up, membership is up and importantly we are seeing more and more families watching matches at weekends in the summer,” he said.

“It is clear that we will need to attract good cricketers here as the competition will be tough, but we are looking forward to the season with eager anticipation,” he said.

Colwall will again run four Saturday teams this year with the fourth team joining the firsts and seconds in the Worcestershire League, while the third team will stay in the Marches League.

The club recently agreed a two-year sponsorship deal with Lockley Homes, and the thriving junior section, which involved more than 180 youngsters last year, will be held as usual on Friday evenings.

Meanwhile, Colwall will begin warming up for the new season which begins on April 11 with a series of winter net sessions commencing at the new netting facility at The Elms on Thursday February 6 (8pm-10pm) and continuing each Thursday until the end of March.