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Heywood 1st XI skipper for 2022

Heywood 1st XI skipper for 2022

By Brendan Roy Hetherington
17 January
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Jamie takes the reins


Interview by Alex Metcalfe, journalist and ex-Lancaster CC and LRGS first XI cricketer.

OPENING batsman Jamie Heywood says it’s a “dream come true” to follow in his father’s footsteps and captain his home club this summer.

The 32-year-old takes the helm at Lancaster Cricket Club this year after the side achieved its best Northern League finish in quite some time in 2021.

The opener said he wanted to build on last seasons runners up spot and use the knowledge passed on by his dad and club legend, David.

“If I hadn’t done it this year, there could have been a chance I’d never do it at all,” he added.

“It’s a bit of a dream come true.”

Heywood returned to Lune Road in the middle of last season after a brief spell at neighbours Morecambe.

He takes over from veteran off-spinner Ben Simm after almost a decade as skipper.

Looking ahead to 2022, Heywood said he’d “learned from the best” - adding his dad often stressed the importance of training and practice.

And the new captain wanted to improve the training ethos at the club.

“When I was a lad there were players playing in the second XI who were good enough to play first team and that’s what I want to try and reignite at the club,” he added.

“I want the senior teams training and working together”.

“And then, if players are not quite making the grade, they can learn where they should be and what they need to do to improve, cricket is a game where you can always learn and always improve”.

Having a “plan B” for top professionals and league players is another tool Heywood wants to develop in the club’s cricketers.

He added: “If you’re training every Tuesday, you’re going to put yourself in with a good shout of winning silverware or having a good season.

“All the lads have to chew into the same chocolate bar - we’ve all got to be on it, not just a few of us.”

Professional Atharva Taide had a remarkable summer for the Lune Road outfit last years - topping the league batting and bowling averages.

Heywood said Atharva was a very special cricketer - who brought an amazing level of professionalism to the club.

The new skipper was also hopeful of making Lune Road a fortress with the help of returning left-arm seamer Liam Moffat. Having spent some time away from Lune Road it is absolutely evident to us we are back in the right place and back at the premier club in the area.

Moffat was top of the pack among amateur bowlers in the league last year - picking up 49 wickets.

He will return across the Lune in 2022 alongside his brother, Kieran.

Heywood believed the left-arm quick was getting better with age.

“Moff has excelled himself in the past few years and I take my hat off to him,” he added.

“He’s never been the quickest, or most lethal, but he’s turned himself into the best amateur seam bowler in the Northern League.”

A talented crop of club youngsters are also making their way in the game.

Elliot Marshall chalked up his first century in the second team last year while skippering the side due to the injury of the captain Lee Marshall (his dad).

Jamie added: “He also worked tirelessly on the ground and was recognised at the Lancashire Cricket ECB Grassroots Cricket, picking up the award for ‘Game Changer’ he’s just hungry for cricket.”

“That’s what we want at Lancaster.

“LRGS pupil Jack Lord is another local boy who has all the attributes and potential to become a really good cricketer”.

When it came to putting his own mark on the captaincy, Heywood said nobody was guaranteed a place in the side.

He added: “Even though the seconds are playing division three of the Palace Shield, if they’re churning out runs week in, week out then come and play for me.

“I want Lancaster to be a successful team together - with everyone putting something into that.

“If we get something out of this year, I want us all to feel we did it - not just a few of us.”

Indoor nets will be held at LRGS from the 6th Feb every Sunday at 5-6pm until 13th March.
To book your place please head to
https://www.pitchero.com/clubs/lancastercricketclub/payments
Places are limited so it will be on a first come first served basis. You will have to register as a member on the site to book.
If it is for Junior please register as a parent or if a senior register as a player.

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