Wells look to rebuild after key players move on

PUBLISHED: 14:00 09 May 2019

Gareth James in bowling action for Woodford Wells during the 2018 season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

Gareth James in bowling action for Woodford Wells during the 2018 season (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Jon Gaffney, Gareth James and Tanveer Shah have all bid farewell to Monkhams Lane during the winter

Woodford Wells will hope to avoid a relegation battle in Shepherd Neame Division One in 2019.

The Monkhams Lane outfit finished seventh last season, but only avoided placing in the bottom two by 19 points.

Wells needed a win on the final day of the campaign at Buckhurst Hill to remain in Division One and yet a key player from that victory is no longer at the club.

Gareth James struck 59 not out to help his team triumph by four wickets at Roding Lane North, but he has moved on in the winter and joined Hemel Hempstead Town.

Another person to depart since the end of last season is ex-captain Jon Gaffney, who will also ply his trade in the Saracens Hertfordshire League like James.

Gaffney, who skippered the local club for the previous two years, has signed for Bishop's Stortford and the departures don't stop there.

The Monkhams Lane side will also be without Tanveer Shah and his runs at the top of the order will be a big miss.

Shah was the team's leading run scorer in 2018 with over 500 runs and the club will be hoping others in the side can step up to the plate.

Talented youngster Viraj Gandhi, who has represented Essex at several age group levels, is another to move on and it leaves voids to fill.

Wells will be captained by George Styles and he will look to contribute with the bat as much as possible after only playing in the second half of the 2018 and 2017 seasons.

A big onus will also be on overseas Mitchell Todd, who made an impression with his first knock for the club.

The Australian top scored for Wells with 70 during their League Cup first-round win at home to Westcliff-on-Sea on April 27.

Yet Todd's capabilities are not only limited to the bat, the 24-year-old is an all-rounder and his spin bowling will be a useful asset for his new side.

In addition to the Aussie, former captain Joe Johnson is still at the club and after he scored 570 runs last season, he will look to replicate those stats this year.

Despite losing numerous key personnel, Wells will hope the fresh feel of the squad can produce positive results and they can be involved in the upper echelons of the table in the 2019 campaign.

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