Burridge make big plans for future

Derek Kenway, left, has been joined by his borhter Richard at Burridge. Picture: Sarah Standing (112978-9825)

Derek Kenway, left, has been joined by his borhter Richard at Burridge. Picture: Sarah Standing (112978-9825)

James Vince. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Rick Ankers has tasked his Burridge side with promotion to the Southern Electric Premier League top flight within three years as part of ambitious future plans.

The division-one outfit, who travel to Fawley on the back of an opening-day victory, have seen a major revamp at the club over the course of the winter.

Aside from a clutch of new recruits who have joined the first team, they now have a new chairman in Clive Slaughter, a director of cricket in Sam Lavery and a new academy to bring through the next generation of Burridge cricketers.

But the long-serving skipper insists the new look is not based on any significant investment or short-term fix but is a long-term plan for the club’s development.

Ankers said: ‘The aim is to get into the premier division over the next two or three years.

‘If it happens sooner, then great. But we want to develop the youngsters for the future and put the foundations in place. It’s a long-term project.

‘I think we are probably one of the most professional clubs in the league now.

‘We’ve got a new chairman in Clive Slaughter and, as a committee, we’ve appointed Sam Lavery as director of cricket and first-team coach.

‘We’ve also started our own academy and brought in some good players.

‘We’ve gone out and talked to people and they have been impressed. They want to be a part of it.

‘We’ve got a few key sponsors and they are really committed to the club.

‘But we’re not paying a penny to anyone.

‘I’ve been asked by certain people over the winter what sort of expenses we might be willing to pay. The answer is “nothing”.

‘It would fly in the face of everything we are trying to do.

‘We’re about building the club and we don’t want anything fragmented.

‘I think that comes about because everyone is together as one unit.’

On the pitch, Richard Kenway is a key signing – joining his brother, Derek, at Botley Road.

Meanwhile, Totton & Eling’s Shu Chowdhury, former Rowner skipper Suji Wickramasinghe, South African recruit Geoff Dods and Havant’s Scott Mills have strengthened the team.

Ankers said: ‘We’ve got a balanced side that could go a long way. It’s fantastic to have Richard Kenway back.

‘He’s a phenomenal cricketer and has rekindled his love for the game. It is great to see it.

‘He’s really motivated and in charge of the colts. He’s enjoying his cricket again.

‘Our overseas player, Geoff Dods, is a sensational lad and looks a very tidy cricketer.

‘Shu Chowdhury has come in from Totton & Eling and looks a very good acquisition. We’ve also got Scott Mills from Havant and Suji Wickramasinghe from Rowner, who are both very good players as well. I’m delighted.

‘We bat a long way down, we’ve got good experience mixed in with a bit of youth and everybody is absolutely up for it this season.’

Elsewhere in division one, Hambledon will attempt to shrug off their lacklustre start to the season after last week’s heavy loss to Fawley.

The Dons travel to Hartley Wintney with Cam Prentice and James Atkinson back in the ranks but Paul Vickers and Ian Turner are out.

BURRIDGE: Rick Ankers, Richard Kenway, Shu Chowdhury, Derek Kenway, Scott Mills, Geoff Dods, Paul Ancell, Greg Thew, Jamie Rood, Suji Wickramasinghe, Nick McMurray.

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