Essex League Premier Division: Roy Smith stands down as Hornchurch captain, but can be proud of his achievements!
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 September 2017
©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468
Experienced batsmen looking to continue playing for Harrow Lodge Park club, but will hand captaincy role over to someone else
Roy Smith will lead Hornchurch onto the field for one last time on Saturday after revealing this week he will be stepping down as captain.
The experienced batsman, who has taken the Harrow Lodge Park club from Essex League Division Two into the Premier during his four years as skipper, will hand over the reins after their match with Upminster.
Smith is keen to still remain at Hornchurch, but conceded the time was right to let someone else take over, saying: “Saturday will be my last as captain. I have done four years, so I have had some good times as skipper.
“We have gone from Division Two into the Premier and I am now hoping we can make it back-to-back fourth-place finishes by winning this weekend. If we can do that then I’ll step down having helped us consolidate in the top flight.
“In the past Hornchurch teams have been relegated after getting back into the Premier, so I am glad we have been able to lay the foundations for someone else to come in now and do well.”
Smith hasn’t only guided the club to back-to-back promotions during his time as captain, but also picked up silverware in the Essex League Cup.
Hornchurch also reached two Essex T20 Cup finals days while the former Ardleigh Green stalwart has been in charge.
A victory on Saturday over old foes Upminster will confirm a second consecutive fourth-place finish in the Premier Division and Smith would be proud of that.
He added: “Last year we had a stronger squad because we have no Tom Moore, Paul Walter, Paul Murray or Mo Shah in the first-team this time around.
“We managed to bring in some good players, but they are not of the calibre of the ones I have just mentioned, so another fourth-placed finish would be good.”
In order for Hornchurch to finish above Shenfield and grant Smith his wish they have to beat Upminster this weekend.
Matt Tigg’s team may be relegated, but they have already defeated Brentwood and Chelmsford this season.
“Upminster can beat anyone on their day and I just think they have lost a bit of confidence as the weeks have gone on and that can happen,” said Smith.
“They are a good side, so we know we need to play well to beat them and hopefully we can do that and come fourth.”
After confirming he intends to step down, Smith explained how he’ll look to stay at Harrow Lodge Park – assuming the club wants to continue to progress.
“Yes, at the moment I am still planning on remaining with the team and playing, but I will have to sit down and see what is going to happen next year,” said Smith.
“I will see what players are likely to stay and which ones could go and if the club are still looking to progress then I will speak with the chairman (Jeremy West) during the winter and hopefully stick around.”
Even without his captaincy, Hornchurch would be hard-pressed to find a more reliable middle-order batter than Smith!