Exciting prospects can lead Purbrook charge

Sam Pearce, right, is a key man for Purbrook  Picture: Allan Hutchings (112187-522)
Sam Pearce, right, is a key man for Purbrook Picture: Allan Hutchings (112187-522)
Michael Carberry top scored for Hampshire with 30. Picture: Neil Marshall

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Purbrook are hoping their ever-improving young guns will deliver success in Hampshire League division one this summer.

Captain Sean Figgins takes his men to Ventnor II for a tough baptism to the new campaign but he has every faith in the talented group at his disposal.

‘We have a lot of exciting young prospects coming through,’ said Figgins.

‘Last season was the first for a number of them in the senior side and they will have gained a lot more experience.

‘They did well with five wins and one tie in the nine league games played.

‘The three games we lost could easily have ended up as wins if we had done some of the basics a bit better.

‘This time around, we are hoping the extra experienced gained will get us through those tight situations.’

Exciting prospects include 15-year-old all-rounder Josh McCoy, opening bat James Holder and Gordon Brookes.

Figgins expects big things from them and is also looking for opening bowler Karl Marsh to continue his improvement.

The 24-year-old did well last season and more is expected.

Purbrook’s squad has also been boosted by the arrival of Australian Jack Cunningham, 20, who brings an added dimension to the side.

It is the Aussie’s first visit to these shores but he will have heard all about it from club-mate Lee Drennan, who was with Purbrook last summer.

Back home they both play for Balley’s Cricket Club in Brisbane.

‘It will be a big learning curve for Jack because conditions are a lot different here to what he’s used to,’ said Figgins.

‘He is a top-order batsman and bowls a bit of spin.

‘That will give us something different because we were a bit short on spin bowlers last year.

‘From what we have seen so far, he is adapting well to the cold and slower pitches.’

With so many youngsters in the side, there is plenty of onus on the oldest member of the squad, Sam Pearce, who is 26.

Pearce swaps his football boots for his cricket whites after spending the winter playing for the Hawks, as well as enjoying loan spells with Gosport Borough and Bognor.

Figgins insists he can be a pivotal figure.

‘Sam is a good all-round cricketer and, when he puts his mind to it, is as good as anyone in our league,’ said Figgins.

‘He will have an important part to play in helping the younger members of the team.

‘I am not a great believer in setting targets but I reckon, if we play to our true potential, we can be a match for most.

‘Ventnor will be strong and will be a good yardstick to start with.’

Purbrook: James Holder, Jack Cunningham, Sean Figgins, Josh McCoy, Sam Pearce, Martin Lee, Josh Spiers, Aaron Dean, Craig Marsh, Karl Marsh, Gordon Brookes.