The kids are alright! South Woodford have long-term in mind, says captain Neicho

South Woodford players celebrate after taking a wicket (pic: Graham Hodges).

South Woodford players celebrate after taking a wicket (pic: Graham Hodges). - Credit: Archant

The Highfield Road club are excited about developing more players from their colts section in 2019

Harry Neicho will captain South Woodford in Shepherd Neame Division Two in 2019 and while promotion is the aim, they have much bigger plans.

Third under long-serving skipper Joe Craddock last year, the Highfield Road outfit are being led by one of their academy graduates this term.

South Woodford are very proud of their youth set-up, which has helped produce players like Essex opener Nick Browne, and want the conveyor belt to continue.

Neicho stated: "We have some really promising younger lads - around the 15 to 16-year-old mark - and it will be an important year for us to try and bring them on as much as anything.

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"We have some other players, even younger, who will hopefully come through the club and play an important part in the years to come too.

"I think as well as being competitive, playing in the right spirit and doing well, we want to try and bring our promising youngsters through if we can."

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Last year was up and down for South Woodford, but one massive highlight was the win at Leigh in July.

Then-captain Craddock had a number of first-teamers out so had to call upon five teenagers under the age of 16.

All stood up to the task and they will hope to earn more opportunities this season under the guidance of Neicho.

He is looking for his talented team to play an exciting brand of cricket after missing out on promotion by 25 points last time out, adding: "If you come third you have generally had a pretty good year.

"We won a lot of matches very convincingly and we lost a few key games which were tight. That was the difference with not going up, but all in all it was a fairly successful year.

"I'm sure if you ask every captain they will say promotion is the aim this season, but we just want to play some good cricket.

"We want to try and get a good, strong squad together and take it a game at a time and see where we can get to at the end of the year."

Neicho will still be able to call upon predecessor and opening batsman Craddock this term and hopes another key player can feature when not in County Championship Division One action for Essex.

He added: "We are always hoping Nick (Browne) is around and if he is available I am sure we will slot him in!"

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