Howzat: Joe Buttleman wants Brentwood Cricket Club to ditch 'bridesmaids' tag and to get Essex League Premier Division title back again
PUBLISHED: 14:00 01 May 2016
Old County Ground club lost Tom Moore in winter, but have recruited well for the new campaign
Brentwood captain Joe Buttleman admits it is time to shake off their bridesmaid tag and win the Premier Division title again.
For the last couple of seasons it has been a case of so near and yet so far for the Old County Ground club.
After being champions in 2011, Brentwood have finished in the top four every summer since. They were runners-up in the 2013 season, before finishing third the following year.
But the 2015 campaign was the worst of them all as Buttleman’s team lost out to Chelmsford by just five points after a defeat to their rivals on the final day of the season resulted in them coming second again.
To make matters worse, they lost the Essex League Cup final to Hornchurch two days after their Premier Division heartache.
“We absolutely want to win the league,” insisted Buttleman. “Since I’ve been captain and going back to the previous skipper Jonathan Walford, we have always been involved in the title race for the last five years.
“We are making a good bridesmaid at the moment as we have lost a couple of finals too. But with the players we have brought in and the experience we’ve got, hopefully we can get over the line this year.”
Brentwood have boosted their squad by bringing Max Osborne back to the club after he left last summer to join Hornchurch.
David Hammond has also returned and they have signed talented youngster Rishi Patel from Loughton. He scored 687 runs in the Premier Division last year despite only playing 14 matches.
“Max has come back and we are delighted. Things didn’t work out for him at Hornchurch and that is cricket,” added Buttleman.
“David has returned, he took a year out which we knew about, and is available again. He is a proven Premier League player and another person we’ve recruited is Rishi Patel from Loughton.
“Last year he was the leading run scorer in the division and only played half the games. I don’t want to put too much expectation on him, but with the experience we already have we hope to see him bed in nicely.
“We really want to help him become a professional cricketer and hopefully he can use the platform we are offering.”
The Brentwood captain admits most of his squad wanted to forget about cricket for a while after their disappointment of last September.
But they have been back in the nets for a while and are all raring to go for the new season.
Buttleman said: “We have been doing indoor stuff since January and it’s been good to see everyone again.
“We lost the league on the last weekend of the season and then the cup final too so everybody was understandably upset with that.
“It is sometimes good to get away from cricket, but it was great to see everybody again in January. We’re looking forward to the start of the season and not thinking about last year now.”
Brentwood will be without Tom Moore for the new campaign as he has joined rivals Hornchurch. It offers opportunities to others, though, and Buttleman has backed his youth to step up.
He added: “We were gutted last year, but have a few new players with some talented youngsters so we want to do well this season. We are feeling quietly confident about the campaign ahead.”
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