Youth club’s time to shine, says Spa skip

Prasanna Jayawardene.
Prasanna Jayawardene.

Woodhall Spa CC skipper Jack Luffman is challenging the club’s youngsters to establish themselves firmly in the First XI.

The Spa men have made major changes to the squad which finished third in the Lincs ECB Premier last season.

They have bolstered their ranks by re-signing Sri Lankan international wicketkeeper Prasanna Jayawardene and bringing in South African fast bowler J-P Prinsloo.

But Luffman, himself an experienced campaigner in the county’s top flight, is also putting his faith in youth, already handing a debut to 14-year-old Henry Wilson and seeing 16-year-old Jack Timby hit 95 runs in the recent win at Skegness.

“We believe we’ve got one of the best junior set-ups in the county, and we’ve won a lot of trophies in the past few years,” Luffman explained.

“But they’ll not get their chance if we replace the players who have left with established Premier League players.

“We believe we’ve got some very good young players and we want to give them the chance to test themselves.”

Luffman admits there could be a time in the not-too-distant future when he and the older players may have to take a step back and enjoy watching the current crop of kids replacing them in the First XI.

But until then, he has faith that the Spa men’s ‘nice blend’ of youth and experience can complement one another.

“We hope the experienced heads can help develop the young players,” he added.

“But there will also be times when we need these players to pull the team out of the mire.

“But cricket’s not like playing a game of football or squash. You give up basically your whole weekend, so of course you go out there to try to win the game and be the main man.”