P&S all set to unleash pro paceman

David Griffiths celebrates a wicket for Hampshire last summer. Picture: Robin Jones
David Griffiths celebrates a wicket for Hampshire last summer. Picture: Robin Jones
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Portsmouth & Southsea have pulled off a major coup by signing ex-Hampshire paceman David Griffiths.

The bowler has been named in the squad to face Basingstoke & North Hants II in their Southern Electric Premier League division three clash at St James’s Park.

The 28-year-old left Hampshire for Kent at the end of last summer but has agreed to turn out for P&S whenever he is available.

‘It is a massive coup for us,’ said chairman Dave Chisholm.

‘David has done some coaching with our lads and is a friend of Tim Jacobs at our club.

‘Tim talked him into playing for us when he doesn’t have any Kent duties.

‘Even if he only plays four or five games for us he will make a huge difference.

‘Apart from Mark Patey, who is 40 years old, most of our team are under the age of 23.

‘We now have seven players in our first team who I coached when they were eight or nine years old. That is great to see.

‘It will be a terrific experience for them to play alongside someone with David’s experience.

‘Hopefully some of his experience and way of doing things will rub off on them.

‘Our wicketkeeper and slips are a bit apprehensive, though.

‘He is a bit quicker than anything they have ever come across before.’

Portsmouth & Southsea began the season with a home defeat at the hands of Bashley (Rydal) II in an opening-day thriller.

Lewis Russell’s team lost by two wickets in a game that went down to the final over.

Despite the losing start, Russell is convinced his team can do a lot better than last season when they only narrowly avoided relegation.

‘I think we can set our stall at a mid-table finish at least,’ he said.

‘Although a lot of our team are still relatively young, they have another year of experience at this level behind them.

‘That has given them a degree of more maturity, both as players and individuals.

‘They have been together at the club for a number of years, so know each other well.

‘I think the squad we have here can be pushed to achieve better things.

‘If we can get a few good results early on then we can pick up a bit of momentum. It would be nice to get off the mark and if we can win half our games this season then we will be okay.

‘Having David Griffiths around on occasions will be a big help.

‘If he plays tomorrow I’m not sure I would want to be in the Basingstoke batsmen’s shoes.’