CRICKET: Four-some signing spree boosts Town

Spalding cricket club net practice and team photo at Spalding Grammar School.'Back (from left):- Jack Barratt; Luke Whitworth; Henry Charlton; Charlie Kearns; Michael Kearns junior; Jamie Juckes; Lee Iyett; front - Ansar Hussien; Tim Norris; Mike Kearns senior; Robert Ambrose; Mattius Hendry; Josh Newton; Simon Juckes.'Photo (TIM WILSON): SG060212-151TW
Spalding cricket club net practice and team photo at Spalding Grammar School.'Back (from left):- Jack Barratt; Luke Whitworth; Henry Charlton; Charlie Kearns; Michael Kearns junior; Jamie Juckes; Lee Iyett; front - Ansar Hussien; Tim Norris; Mike Kearns senior; Robert Ambrose; Mattius Hendry; Josh Newton; Simon Juckes.'Photo (TIM WILSON): SG060212-151TW
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AMBITOUS Spalding Town Cricket Club have clinched a quartet of new signings as they step up their preparations for the new season.

New first team skipper Rob Ambrose has swooped for Josh Newton and Charlie Kearns from Lincs ECB Premier Division duo Boston and Market Deeping respectively, while also snapping up Long Sutton duo Tim Norris and Barry Stanway.

Spalding cricket club net practice and team photo at Spalding Grammar School.'Ben Westlake'Photo (TIM WILSON): SG060212-153TW

Spalding cricket club net practice and team photo at Spalding Grammar School.'Ben Westlake'Photo (TIM WILSON): SG060212-153TW

All four of the new additions boast vast Premier League experience and should provide invaluable experience for a possible title tilt.

Minus fast bowler Stanway, the new faces were among those turning out for Town’s first winter net session of the year at Spalding Grammar School on Sunday.

With influential all-rounder Ansar Hussain also deciding to stay with Spalding, Ambrose reckons his side can challenge for promotion in South Lincs and Border League Division One this time around.

The captain said: “I would have been happy to sign one of them, so to get all four is a bonus.

“They are all very good players and any of them on their day can win games on their own. We have managed to keep hold of Ansar Hussain too, who has turned down a lucrative deal with one of our rivals to stay with us – so all in all a good winters work.

“With the squad we have, we have a good chance of doing well this season. A lot depends on how well we start, with Billingborough as strong as ever we can only afford to lose a couple of games if we want any chance of pushing them for the title.

“So we are going to work hard in pre-season and hopefully be as ready as we can be to give it a good go.”

It’s not just the first team feeling confident, with second string skipper Tom Dale hoping to continue the improvement shown in SLBL Division Two last time around.

He added: “I am looking forward to another successful season with the second team. After near relegation two years ago, the team really pulled together and responded.

“After finishing fifth last season we have strengthened up where the team felt there were weaknesses and we are now hoping this will carry us towards winning Division Two next season.”

Spalding’s third team intent to experiment with youth in Division Three, offering vital experience to the latest crop of talent to come through the ranks.

Their skipper Rick Dale said: “Hopefully we will build on the success of last season. We intend to incorporate some of the young players from our academy to lay the foundations to develop their potential as senior players within the club.”

Whatever happens on the pitch, 2012 will go down as a landmark year for Town. For the first time ever the club is running four senior sides, while junior teams will be entered into the Border Youth League at U/17, U/15, U/13 and U/11 levels.

With the club’s Academy also running every Monday night (6pm-7pm) for all kids aged between five and 12, fourth team captain and club development officer Jimmy Clarke is aiming to put Spalding on the cricketing map.

He said: “If we can build on the success of last season – when both the U/11 and U/13teams did extremely well – it will provide a solid structure for the club to continue to grow at a steady rate, with the older age groups starting to feed into the senior teams.

“What we are trying to do is create a legacy that will put Spalding Town Cricket Club on the map and to make it a team that not only the town will be proud of but the county as well.

“We want to get into as many schools as we can in 2012 and take cricket in the area to the next level. We will endeavour to get every child who wishes to learn the opportunity to do so in a fun and safe environment.”

With Spalding fielding so many teams at various levels this season, the club are also eager to hear from any people of businesses that may wish to sponsor them next season.

Town are already delighted to have had their new matchday tracksuits and polo shirts sponsored by S and R Juckes Painters and Decorators.

Any other interested parties can contact Rob Ambrose via email at firstteam@spaldingtowncricketclub or call 07935 834397.