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Essex League Premier Division: Hornchurch captaincy will be a learning curve for Billy Gordon, but he’ll do well, says Roy Smith

PUBLISHED: 13:00 15 September 2017

Hornchurch skipper Roy Smith (right) and vice-captain Billy Gordon (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Hornchurch skipper Roy Smith (right) and vice-captain Billy Gordon (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Harrow Lodge Park club finished the season in fifth place after final day draw and will have a new skipper for the 2018 campaign

Roy Smith has backed Billy Gordon to be the next captain of Hornchurch and do a fine job as skipper of the Harrow Lodge Park outfit.

The talented all-rounder has been an influential figure at the club since progressing through the youth ranks.

And with Smith now stepping down, he feels Gordon, 25, is the man to be skipper and take Hornchurch forward.

“I believe Billy will be taking over because he has been vice-captain this season and the club are looking to the future,” said Smith, who has taken the team from Division Two into the Premier during his four years.

“The younger players need to be given a go so they can try and find their feet and do the job, but it will be a learning curve for him.

“I do think the only way you can get better is by doing it yourself, so the longer he does it the better he will become. He will work hard and stick at it, so I am sure he will do well as captain.”

Smith steps down as Hornchurch skipper after leading the club to back-to-back top five finishes in the Essex League Premier Division.

The Ardleigh Green legend hoped his team could win on the final day at home to Upminster and secure fourth spot.

But the poor weather forced Hornchurch’s clash with their rivals to finish as a draw and with Shenfield triumphing at Ilford, they leapfrogged Smith’s side at the death.

A fifth place finish still represented a decent campaign for the Harrow Lodge Park club, especially with them reaching Essex T20 Cup finals day too.

Smith added: “It was definitely a solid season overall. We couldn’t have hoped for much better really with the three big boys at the top in Chelmsford, Wanstead and Brentwood.

“It was always going to be a struggle to break into that, but it gives us something to work on for next year.”

Before the rain ruined the derby on Saturday, Hornchurch had reached 128-5 with bowler Chamikara Mudalige hitting 32 to top score alongside wicket-keeper Michael Bones, who also added 32 from number three.

With the 2017 season now over, Smith would like the chance to remain with the Harrow Lodge Park club and play his part in the next chapter of their history.

He added: “I’d like to stick around and help Billy. The more experienced players always have their input because you do always need help from your team-mates.

“You can’t do everything on your own, so it is good to listen to what experienced people have to say and then you can choose to take it on board or not.

“I found on more occasions than not, that listening to people around you can help because they see things from different angles.

“Everyone has their strength on the field and some see things that others don’t because you can’t know everything.

“You do learn every time you do the job as captain and even Joe Root would say the same, so it is no different from England all the way down to club level.”

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