Alex Hooley targets top four spot for Foxton in Cambs and Hunts Premier League
Alex Hooley is aiming to help guide Foxton into the top four of the Whitings & Partners Cambs and Hunts Premier League, Division One.
The opener became captain for the truncated season last summer when Jason Coleman was unable to return to the UK from Australia, and with their skipper for the past four seasons not making it back this year, there was an obvious decision.
“It seemed sensible for me to pick it up really, given that I’ve been at the club a while now,” said Hooley.
“I’m 30 years old now so have a bit of experience and know most of the guys pretty well so it was a fairly straightforward decision I think.”
Being a club cricket captain brings with it multiple roles, such as selection and organising any late drop-outs, sorting out match fees, paying umpires and getting the ground sorted.
But Hooley said: “Helpfully, I have other people like Adam Webster, Ravi Mahenda and director of cricket Matt Gray who help with that.
“The on-field stuff is fun, and adds another layer of interest on a Saturday afternoon, rather than just going out and batting.”
Coleman is not the only departure this summer. Craig Park, who has contributed invaluable runs in the last few seasons, has moved to the Azores.
But they will be replaced by Tade Carmichael and Rakshith Rao.
Carmichael will be Foxton’s pro this season, and is a top order batsman who also bowls good off-spin. He was introduced to the club by some of the current players in the side, having previously played in the Surrey Leagues for Camberley CC.
Rao is an off-spinner who has previously been part of the set up and was at Cambridge University.
“We should have good depth to our batting and we should have a lot of spinning options,” said Hooley.
“One area we might be a bit short is seamers but hopefully if we manage them well and our spinners do a good job then we should be OK.”
Last season, a new format was introduced which saw the top four sides play-off in semi-finals and a final to determine the league winners.
Foxton reached the semi-finals last year before being beaten by eventual winners St Ives & Warboys.
“With a smaller division and the top four set-up as it is, I think you’re ambition is to get into that top four however you do so, winning as many games as you can in the meantime,” said Hooley.
“It’s a competitive league, it always has been and barring the odd season where you have one side who clearly aren’t good enough for the league, most seasons everyone can beat everyone.
“As long as we get into the top four, I would like to think in a two-game shoot-out at the end of the season we could get the job done.
“We failed in that last year when we lost to St Ives in the semi-final, but they were a strong side. Hopefully this year we can go two steps better to get into the final, and then win it.”