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Smith is ready for a big year with Hornchurch

PUBLISHED: 16:00 18 December 2015

Hornchurch batsman Roy Smith in batting action (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

Hornchurch batsman Roy Smith in batting action (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS Photo).

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 8450 946026

Skipper discusses Premier Division, how Paul Walter is getting on at Essex and the squad for next season

Hornchurch cricketer Paul Walter shows off his strength during winter training at Essex with former club captain James Foster watching on in the backgroundHornchurch cricketer Paul Walter shows off his strength during winter training at Essex with former club captain James Foster watching on in the background

Hornchurch captain Roy Smith believes the 2016 season will be a big one for the Harrow Lodge club after he was recently re-elected as skipper for the new year.

A second consecutive promotion was achieved last campaign from Division One meaning they are back amongst the big boys in the Premier Division.

It will be more challenging, but Smith is positive about the new season and their chances of doing well.

Hornchurch demonstrated numerous times during the year that they can beat the best in the county and will look to do it consistently next season.

Smith said: “It is going to be a big year for the club and we will be looking at using a lot of the same players.

“We want to try and use what we have within the club rather than source from outside, but we do have an overseas New Zealander we are hoping to get.

“That isn’t sorted yet. He has played first class cricket in New Zealand and for the national team one or two times, he is an all-rounder, so we wanted to get that finalised for the new year.

“Last season was the best the club has ever said the chairman insisted at the AGM and the future looks very promising.

“We have some good youngsters coming through and we are looking to give them more chances now.”

The initial aim for Hornchurch is to finish next season in mid-table, but Smith seems confident they can do even better.

Last season, while a Division One side, they managed to beat numerous teams from the top division.

They saw off Brentwood in the final of the League Cup to complete a famous double and Smith believes more success can follow.

He added: “We have to use all of our experience next season because we have played a lot of the Premier Division teams in the cups.

“We beat the likes of Brentwood, Chelmsford, Colchester and Wanstead so we know we can do it, but it is all about keeping that up on a consistent basis.

“If we can do that then hopefully we can finish about halfway up the table, but if we can get to the halfway stage of the season and be in and amongst it at the top we will try to stay there.”

Somebody who will be key for Hornchurch is all-rounder Paul Walter, who enjoyed a stunning first campaign at the club in the 2015 season.

Walter scored over a thousand runs during the season and took many key wickets.

Smith revealed what the talented cricketer has been getting up to, adding: “Essex have got a new head coach in Chris Silverwood so Paul is looking to impress.

“They have asked him to come in for winter training to have a little look and I have no doubt whatsoever that he will start the season with Essex seconds.

“Hopefully he can do well with them and continue to take wickets and score runs for Hornchurch as well.”

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