Blue sky ahead?

MARSHALLS Cricket Club need an influx of young talent, and new backers.

That’s the view of chairman Stuart Spriggens, who took over from David Andrews in the winter.

Speaking to the Standard this week the man in charge of the Bassetlaw Championship cricket club appealed for the town’s young people to give the sport a chance.

“There really is a lot of promise about the club, but we just need to find more youngsters who want to come through and play for us,” he said.

“An awful lot of kids play football in the town, but don’t want to play cricket and the gap between the two seasons is getting shorter and shorter.”

“We’ve got very good Under 13s and Under 17s teams, but we’re finding it difficult to attract more youngsters to the game.”

It’s one thing finding new talent, but Mr Spriggens admits another problem is player retention.

Marshalls currently run two Saturday sides in the Bassetlaw League, and a Sunday team.

He said: “Finding a place for them to play regularly can be tough on a Saturday or Sunday, once they’ve come through.”

“We can’t seem to keep all the youngsters we’ve got, they go to other clubs to get regular cricekt, which is a shame after you’ve spent five years developing them.”

“It is a problem that comes from having a successful junior side, but we do manage to play four or five juniors on a Saturday at the moment.”

The chairman hopes that by introducing more Gainsborough kids to the sport, the club’s future will look more secure.

And after signing a two-year shirt sponsorship deal with Howells, he’s also looking to add more sponsors.

“We’ve got a major sponsor on board now, but aside from that we’ve had to draw on the usual people for support, people who’ve helped us out for the last few years.”

“I’ve been to local businesses and had little progress, and I can understand because people are struggling in the economic climate.”

“But going forward there are lots of things we want to get done and achieve.”

“We’re only a small club with limited resources and it’s slow progress, but we’re established and have great facilities and there’s a lot of potential.”