Tigg excited by Upminster challenge

PUBLISHED: 11:00 06 January 2017

Matt Tigg in bowling action for Upminster during the annual benefit match against Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

Matt Tigg in bowling action for Upminster during the annual benefit match against Essex (pic Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

New captain hoping for successful 2017

New Upminster captain Matt Tigg admits he is looking forward to the challenge of leading the club into the Essex League Premier Division this year, after taking over the reins from Alan Ison.

Tigg, a left-arm spinner and useful batsman, played his own part in last season’s Division One-winning campaign under Ison, who has stepped down due to work and family commitments.

And he is hoping to maintain the momentum in the top flight, saying: “After what can only be described as ‘wintering well’, I’m looking forward to regrouping with the rest of the squad for pre-season and the start of our fitness sessions.

“I’m already excited for the season, especially having the chance to captain the first team in what will hopefully be a successful year cementing our position in the Premier Division.

“After the highs of 2016, I have high hopes for strong performances within our young and determined team.”

Upminster finished 40 points clear of Southend last summer, after winning 12 and losing just four of their 18 matches.

Home-grown youngsters Louis Pickering and Frank Hazel and brothers Connor and Julian Whetstone, who joined from Hutton, took their chance to impress and Tigg wants them to keep on improving.

He added: “The first-team squad is fortunate to have a number of talented young players to call upon this year and I will be asking each of them to strive to be in the highlights every week.

“Retaining the strong experience of John (Curtis), Alan (Ison), Shahbaz (Butt) and Harry (Jenkins) will also provide stability to the group, who should all be setting themselves individual goals for the season.

“One or two new faces will also provide some friendly competition, although we have been playing together as a group for the last few years, so it’s already a great environment to be in.”

Upminster are hoping to see all six of their league sides enjoy successful campaigns in 2017, spearheaded by the firsts, and Tigg revealed his pride at becoming skipper of his local club.

He added: “Being appointed as captain of my home-town club is a great feeling and a role I am excited to take on, especially as I have been a playing member in the men’s teams since 2005 after starting playing cricket at the relatively later age of 14.

“Alan did a fantastic job last year of pulling together old and new players and creating a confident atmosphere which went a long way towards giving everyone the winning mentality.

“He has been my cricket captain for a total of six seasons including our time at Hall Mead and it will be a nice feeling being able to pass on some jobs to him for a change!

“With him still in the team my job should be a little easier and hopefully we can work together to have another good year.”

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