On the cusp of what is bound to be another thrilling season our clubs have been busy with recruitment. Here’s a round up of the moves made across our 42 clubs:
Newly promoted Wesleyans have strengthened with some valuable experience in their first ever season at the top table. They’ve brought in Bradford League experience with Musa Ahmed moving from Batley and added a familiar face with Scholes’ Mark Floyd taking up a new challenge to shore up the middle order. Last season’s overseas, Australian Freddie Walker returns to to Kaye Lane and hopefully follow up his impressive debut season where he scored 957 runs and bagged 67 wickets so skipper Will Binns will be hoping for a repeat close to that if Wes are to make impact.
New faces come in at the Bridge as they aim to lengthen their three season stint in the top flight. Haydn Charlton makes a switch from Kirkheaton and Chris Dennison will bring welcome Bradford League experience as he arrives from Scholes. Overseas Marco Van Biljon is also a new face for the Bridge skipper Andrew Gledhill. The young 19 year old South African opening bowler will be experiencing his first full season over here.
It’s been a quiet winter for the Championship title winners and captain Darren Robinson. Long-serving spinner Matthew Steers has stepped down from 1XI cricket but the Calderdale side have brought in an exciting overseas with Sri Lankan all rounder Ashan Priyanjan boasting international level experience scoring a half-century against England last October. They’ve also signed Adam Shaw from local rivals Rastrick.
Brotherly love has brought quick bowler Alastair Finn across town to be reunited with brother Dominic at Broad Oak. Finn, who took 29 wickets at an average of 21.55 is likely to take the opening bowler spot after the departure of Alex Slack. Returning overseas all rounder Kyron Dill will begin a second season for the Linthwaite-based club who he helped reach joint second last season.
Delph & Dobcross
A season of transition awaits new captain and new signing Louis Aspeling as no less than five first team players departed including former captain Andrew Gleave. Grant Jones, who has scored 7,339 runs as well as taken 438 catches and 138 stumpings for Delph over two decades, feels now is the time to step down and enjoy 2XI cricket so the hugely experienced Aspeling will don the gloves. Delph welcome back a familiar face in Shakir Muhammad (the talented swing bowler played a season at Hoylandswaine) but feels he’ll get more time with the ball on his former stomping ground where he took 150 wickets in two seasons at a consistent average of 17.22. Top order batting has been reinforced with aggressive upper order batter Alex Peters making a local switch from Greenfield along with all-rounder Adam Hayes who joins from GMCL Premiership outfit Woodhouses. The overseas Rehan Afridi comes highly recommended in his first season away from Pakistan and is likely to bat 3 or 4.
Long-serving Golcar skipper Steve Whitwam has stepped down to hand responsibility over to Jack McNamara who has rejoined the club from Marsden. The Swallow Lane side have made tweaks to the team as outgoing Jacob Mulhall and Louis Aspeling are replaced with former Scholes, Kirkburton and Cawthorne strike batter Ibrar Latif coming in.
The Far End Lane side enjoyed their best finish to a season following several years transitioning. Timmy Taylor’s team are now hoping to kick on and have conducted impressive business after moving to sign Yorkshire junior Archie Greaves from Shepley and recruited Jack Hebden from Bradford League Townville. Obviously Will Fraine will lend his services as and when his County commitments allow and a title challenge will also be bolstered by a change in overseas as Mel Benito joins.
Hopes will be resting on an influx of impressive new signings for the title holders as they bid to retain the Byrom Shield for a third consecutive season. Swaine have often been at the pointy end when facing Arron Lilley but this time he’ll turn out for the Barnsley-based side in between commitments for his new County Leicestershire. Lilley who plundered 6,890 runs, 115 catches and 437 wickets for Delph & Dobcross over ten seasons is the standout new name in the playing roster and is joined with talent that may be a little less known to DHCL spectators. Brayden Clarke arrives from nearby Townville, double-signings Sam Johnson and Iftikhar Naseer both come in from Bramhall in the Cheshire ECB Premier League whilst Mustafa Bashir is a new signing from Chelford (also Cheshire).
New skipper Toby Booth has reshuffled by welcoming several new faces to the side as Will Reeves and former skipper Craig Fletcher depart from Riley Lane. Asmal Zahir (Ossett) and Jonny Smith (Wrenthorpe) will make debuts after joining from local league clubs. Joe O’Gorman may be more unfamiliar after signing from St Fagins in the South Wales Premier League. Overseas this year is Sri Lankan all-rounder Roscoe Thattil.
New leadership is in situ at the Mirfield-based club who will be looking to continue their impressive top half finishes in the last couple of season. Andrew Fortis has handed over the reigns to Eddie Walmsley and newcomer James Stansfield has made the switch from GMCL based Saddleworth side Austerlands. after skippering Scholes in the Bradford League prior to that. His former club has also been raided for Shoukat Ali who won the Bradford League Championship batting award in 2017.
Chapelgate supporters and captain Josh Brook will be thrilled once again by the arrival of a club favourite Joe Carter who will once again look to pile on the runs. The supremely talented Kiwi who has enjoyed another class A season in New Zealand returns for a third season. Leon Risden and Jake Robshaw also come in from Rastrick and Lepton Highlanders respectively.
A rebuilding job is underway at Shelley as departing pair Josh Scott and Joe Sykes have lent their services to Skelmanthorpe’s promotion campaign. Yousaf Hasnet has rejoined the club though from Slaithwaite and the overseas is Hareen Buddila Weerasinghe, a young Sri Lankan batsman with experience with Sri Lankan U19’s.
Greg Wood will be hoping to go one step further to soem welcome silverware at Marsh Lane with some eyebrow-raising business. Max Joice and Tom Chadwick (above) will add their title-winning experience and batting skills to a deep batting lineup who aside from outgoing youngsters Jake Lynn and Archie Greaves will retain virtually the same side.
Thongsbridge’s major new signing will surely be the opening of the brand new clubhouse down at Miry Lane which should be open and ready for business in time for the season. On the playing side, young spinner Will Reeves returns after a year out at Kirkburton as Thongsbridge skipper Ben Raven-Hill retains an intact squad from last season which finished in an impressive fifth place. Australians Haydn Slodecki and Jake Cassidy (UK passport holder) return for a second season after a combined 2,066 runs between them in 2018.
Marsden’s stock looks to be on the rise following promotion after they have completed two solid new signings in Chris Coleman who comes back after two seasons at Slaithwaite and Rijner Coetzer who experienced success at nearby Golcar. Conference champions Denby may make some waves in their new assignment by securing the services of Hong Kong international Aizaz Khan following a successful twelve match input last term for Holmfirth where he bagged 443 runs and 30 wickets. They’ve also moved to secure Cawthorne wicketkeeper Will Mott and Paul Barrow from Skelmanthorpe.
Mirfield Parish Cavalier captain Tim Orrell will give it one more shot to try and return Parish back to the top flight following last season’s disappointing relegation. They’ve captured Michael Padgett from nearby Moorlands. Clayton West will once again challenge and have retained overseas of the year Phil Tunnicliffe whilst adding further steel by bringing in former Shepley spinner Danny Wood (above) and Mark Hinchliffe from West Bretton in the Pontefract league.
Elland have made a host of new signings with new captain Jack Hendy bringing in eight new faces to Hullen Edge. West Indian batsman Josh Ramdoo arrives as the overseas whilst Tom Baxter (Hall Bower), Tom Hughes (Saddleworth), Rhys Newman (Sowerby Bridge) and Kaden Lancaster (Northowram Fields) will hope to bed in and hit the straps quickly.
Holmfirth have shrugged off the loss of exciting overseas Aizaz Khan by bringing in a couple of strong players with Sam Butterworth joining from Wakefield Thornes and Jake Lynn making the short switch from Shepley. Slaithwaite have also captured some useful top flight experience with three impressive new faces. Alec Jakeman and Jack Bryson bolster the ranks from Premiership Scholes while popular wicketkeeper Joe McNamara has transferred from Honley. Captain Alex Walker welcomes a new overseas too in the shape of Cosman Walters from Australia.
Skelmanthorpe endured an inconsistent 2018 following relegation the season before but have been busy chopping and changing their squad. Double signings; Zahed Ahmed and Zeeshan Khan join from Lascelles Hall and another pair from neighbours Shelley; Joe Sykes and Josh Scott will surely provide a good return at Championship level. Shat have also added Shahzada Khan from Notts Premier League Carlton whilst Adelaide-based all rounder Blair Buchanan will be their overseas.
Rastrick who have made a steady challenge in recent seasons welcome a double signing from Halifax-based Northowram Fields; Zafar Khan and Shakeel Mahmood. Richard Smith will hope to make an impact after moving over from Wrenthorpe in the Bradford League. Over at Lepton Highlanders where Jacob Mulhall has returned from a season away at Golcar to step up as captain at Wakefield Road. His former Joe Lumb teammate Harry Bissett joins him from Marsden and they have recruited the services of Sayed Salman from Dacre Bank in the Nidderdale League and reached out into the Bradford League to bring in Adeel Ashraf (Saltaire).
Cedar Court Conference
Kirkheaton welcome Ian Hall from Southowram in the Halifax League whereas Denby Dale have secured five new faces including overseas professional Marlon Bernard as they bid to challenge at the summit. The much-travelled Qasir Rashid will make his debut at his fifth club after transferring over to Almondbury from Linthwaite. Birkby Rose Hill have brought in Abdullah Khan who will bring much needed Bradford top flight experience from Undercliffe.
Read a full list of transfers up to and including Monday 15 April here: https://www.huddersfieldcricketleague.co.uk/pages/latest-player-registrations