By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
PREMIER-winning captain Jackson Thompson has taken over as skipper at Cornwood for the 2021 Tolchards Devon League season.
Thompson returned to Oak Park for a second spell as club professional last season having skippered previous club Heathcoat to the league and T20 cup double in 2019.
When Matt Skeemer relinquished the captaincy after four seasons at the helm, Cornwood wanted an experienced player to steer the team in their first proper season back in the top flight after promotion in 2019.
Nick Goodliffe, Cornwood’s vice-chairman, said the former Gloucestershire and ECB Unicorns all-rounder was the players’ ‘overwhelming’ choice for the job.
"It didn’t take long to ascertain Jackson’s desire to fully embrace the role, not only to lead the 1st XI but also work closely with the club’s other three men’s captains, to ensure all teams are fully aligned in their approach and strategy,” said Goodliffe.
“Among his duties JT will be leading the senior training night sessions, heading-up selection night, working with the under-19 Cyclones squad as well as regularly attending colts coaching nights to assist the club coaches with specific training objectives.
"We are fortunate to have someone of JT’s playing experience step into the role, leading a relatively young 1st XI squad who are evolving into a formidable unit.
“Jackson will be able to exert a major influence on playing matters at the club. For example: I know he intends to integrate the 2nd XI squad with the 1st XI, to create more strength in depth.”
Thompson paid tribute to Skeemer and the job he did to get the club back into the Premier Division, adding he wanted to build on his predecessor’s achievements.
“Matt has done some great work over the past few years and I'm looking forward to building on that good foundation,” said Thompson.
“I'm excited for the challenge of supporting a squad with great promise and energy, to fulfil their full potential next season.
“I am looking to work with and empower each player individually and forge an unbeatable, united team that will do their many supporters and close-knit club proud.”
First up for Thompson will be supporting the under-19 squad in some indoor sessions booked either side of Christmas as a means of bringing the squad together once lockdown restrictions are hopefully lifted.
The club has booked two Saturday afternoon sessions at Plymouth College on December 19 and January 23. Keen cricketers aged 15-§9 who may be interested should contact the club for more information.
Men’s indoor nets start in February and new players will be more than welcome. With four league teams there is a level for players of all abilities.
New lady players are also encouraged to come forward. Indoor sessions are planned for Sunday mornings from mid-February onwards.
The club is rebuilding its ladies squad after a few longstanding players decided to call it a day.
“It is a perfect opportunity for those looking to return to cricket or try something new for the first time,” said Goodliffe.
Any enquiries to Cornwood CC should be made via email to firstname.lastname@example.org