Hopson excited by Havant paceman

Pete Hopson playing against Totton. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131682-1)

Pete Hopson playing against Totton. Picture: Paul Jacobs (131682-1)

Hambledon's George Harding batting against St Cross. Picture Ian Hargreaves (170744-1)

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Pete Hopson can’t wait to see Brad Wheal unleashed on Southern Electric Premier League batsmen.

The South African pace bowler has been brought to the south coast by Hampshire, who have agreed to allow him to play league cricket at Havant Park.

It’s a deal which has been welcomed by the premier division powerhouses as they launch their latest title tilt at Ventnor tomorrow (1pm).

Player-coach Hopson reckons Havant are in a strong position to contest glory on all fronts this term.

And he believes 19-year-old Wheal could be a key man in their drive to wrest the top-flight crown back from South Wilts.

‘Brad looks pretty quick at the moment,’ said Hopson.

‘Ourselves and Hampshire hope we can keep him fit for the season.

‘We expect him to play all the league games for us and hope to get him in for some twenty20 cricket, too.

‘That bit of extra pace up front, alongside Ben (Walker), will help.’

Havant have often been stereotyped as a spin-bowling team, with their host of options in that department.

Jeremy Ord is back and raring to go this term, while fellow seam bowler Cameron Prentice has joined the club from Hambledon.

But Wheal will add an extra dimension to that attack and Hopson is excited by the prospect.

‘A lot of people seem to stereotype our cricket a little but and say we are all about spin,’ he said.

‘Okay, so we have four spinners but Ben and Ordy have been really good seamers.

‘Brad could scare a couple of batsmen, he could shock a few.

‘We have yet to see him bowl at full pace and I have been told he can bowl very, very quickly.

‘We are under the agreement Brad will play 18 games for us.

‘We have made a commitment to that and so have Hampshire.

‘The ideal situation is he can get rid of Tom Morton early on in both games against South Wilts.

‘That would help us a lot!’

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