NEW Dunstall skipper Matt Gouldstone hopes to bring some fresh ideas to the club after replacing long-serving captain Martin Clewley at the helm.
The 25-year-old batsman has returned to Deer Park from Sandiacre and is keen to get started, beginning tomorrow with a crunch local derby at home to Lullington Park, noon start.
And Park, too, have a new skipper – with the talented Richard Green replacing long-serving, title-winning captain Jonny Shales.
“I was delighted when the club offered me the captaincy,” said Gouldstone. “It’s a role I’ve been looking to take on for some time in the Premier League.
“Returning to the club from an extremely strong Sandiacre side, I hope I’ll be able to lead the club towards that kind of success in the future.”
Green, meanwhile, is taking a very pragmatic approach after succeeding Shales, who led Lullington to the 2010 Derbyshire Premier League title.
“Basically, I’m just taking it one game at a time and not setting the lads any targets,” said Green, who will undertake wicket-keeping duties as well as leading Lullington.
“We’re going on a game by game basis and if we keep winning games we’ll be up there.”
Gouldstone, like Green, knows he has a difficult act to follow replacing Clewley, who is part of the Deer Park furniture.
He also acknowledges that Dunstall are still a side in transition who will have to do without the considerable talents of the departed brothers Craig and John Jennings.
“Everyone knew that the captaincy was going to be a difficult role to fill this year after Martin had stepped down at the end of last season,” said the right-handed strokemaker.
“From a personal perspective, it’s important for me to get back to my absolute best as a cricketer in order to be able to lead from the front, which I always like to do.
“The first XI will certainly play cricket with a slightly different approach this year and, alongside the senior players, I hope to install a strong sense of professionalism and pride in the side.
“The side is a young one, and we are in the process of re-building. It will take time, and no-one expects it to be an overnight job.
“It’s a big loss losing the Jennings family, who have been at the club for a while and have always been very solid performers, but it does certainly give us a chance to re-evaluate and start on a new path, which we have done over the winter and now take into the season.”
Lullington have signed South African batting all-rounder Martin Walters to strengthen a largely homegrown side and he has impressed Green in his first few nets and friendly appearances.
“Martin looks really good,” he said. “He got 75 in his first innings and 60-odd in his second.
“Martin captained his province in South Africa, too, so he’ll be able to add that experience to the mix as well.”
TICKNALL have signed all-rounder Shahid Khan’s brother, Ali, as their overseas player for this season.
The 23-year-old medium pacer has 41 first-class wickets at 22.78 and two first class centuries to his name.
He has also represented Pakistan A.
Ticknall have also signed George Hodson-Walker from Lullington to take over wicket-keeping duties from the departed Ricky Kniveton.