Wokingham CC aim to maintain winning mentalityBy Adam Lee
May 09, 2012
With the lack of warm-up matches hindering pre-season preparations for every team in the Thames Valley League, Wokingham captain Dan Reddyhough is hoping last year's promotion-winning campaign could give his side an edge.
Reddyhough leads his team out for the first Division 1 match of the season at local rivals Finchampstead on Saturday, with only a single inter-club friendly under their belts.
But having surged to the Division 2B title last season, Reddyhough believes the winning mentality, coupled with the buzz of the club’s new facilities at Sindlesham, could see them maintain their form into the new season.
And with an influx of new players to compliment last year’s promotion winners, morale is high at the club.
“We are going into the season on the back of a positive year where we have been used to winning and I’m hoping we can dial into that mindset early doors and get off to a good start,” said Reddyhough.
“My first aim is to get off to a good start because it's important that we create a winning environment that will also take the pressure off as we start out in what will be a very competitive league.
“We have a good balance to the side with some strong individual players, so we have high hopes.”
Among the more high profile of the new players at Wokingham is Kiwi all-rounder Stevie Smidt.
The 22 year old has been at the club for a few weeks and has settled in well.
Another coup for the Oaks is the return of 17-year-old batsman Stuart Parsons.
Parsons progressed through the Wokingham colts section and broke into the first team, only to join local rivals Reading.
He has made quite a name for himself at junior level, and was the highest scoring batsman for Berkshire Under-17s last season, with 323 runs in six games.
He is also credited with making the highest score by a schoolboy against the MCC young cricketers when he made 212no while playing for Reading School. The club also welcome all-rounder Ryan Pogson, while off spinner Paul Dewick has joined from Bracknell.
And Reddyhough said: “We’ve got people fighting for places thoughout the side and we’re very keen to get out and put sonme good performabces down and see the side evolve as the season goes on.
“Hopefully (Stevie Smidt) will add a bit of firepower to our bowling attack and also add to our batting, while we’re hopeful Stuart Parsons can make a big impact and we're very glad to have him back.
“We have held on to the core of the squad from last year as well.
“Jack Turner is in his second season while Chris Nicholls had a massive influence keeping wicket last season.
“Simon Myles is a perrenial performer for us and is capable of winning games with both the bat and ball.
“Will Ellison was our leading performer last year - he’s a young lad who leads the bowling and has a wise head on young shoulders.”
Reddyhough expects to have a full strength squad to choose from ahead of Saturday's short trip to Finchampstead.