Change of focus for Barkisland

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THERE will be a change of emphasis for Barkisland next season as club members come to terms with the exit from the Huddersfield League’s top flight.

Opening batsman Simon Wheelwright will be captain for a third year after what he admits have been two very, very tough years in charge.

Barkisland were reprieved the drop when only one team went down in 2010 but finished bottom of the Premiership this summer.

“The table doesn’t lie - we were just not good enough,” said Wheelwright, who hopes to be able to announce the signing of one of Calderdale’s best young players shortly.

Batsman Andy Gleave and quick but erratic South African fast bowler Kimeshin Chetty are not expected to return and Barkisland may not have an overseas player at all next season.

Instead they are looking at ensuring that the rich seam of young talent within the club is properly developed.

Barkisland won the Collinson Cup under 17s competition last season. Ben Westbrook, Brad Birkhead, Seth Oddy and Isaac Pollitt are members of that side who are already in the first team and the ex-Halifax League club also has some highly-successful younger teams.

Wheelwright said: “We are going to concentrate on player development at the club. We may look to bring in a coach who can bring our players on by 20 or 30 per cent so that next time we are in the top division we are competitiive.”

LIGHTCLIFFE have been given a golden opportunity to get their Bradford League Division One programme off to a flying start.

Jonathan Wilson’s 2011 Division Two champions have four home games in their first five league fixtures.

They open against Undercliffe on April 21 and then face Pudsey Congs, Manningham Mills, Saltaire and East Bierley with only the Mills game away.

Division Two Brighouse open with away games against Bankfoot and Hartshead Moor before hosting Morley.