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Mansfield new Suffolk skipper

Adam Mansfield aims to instil a winning culture after being named as the new skipper of Suffolk’s Minor Counties side.

The 25-year-old Sudbury player replaces county stalwart and club colleague Tom Huggins, who has taken on a full-time coaching role at Essex CCC.

Mansfield will be one of the county’s youngest ever and most inexperienced captains, after playing 17 times in the Championship since making his debut in 2011.

Educated at Great Cornard Upper School, he has previously led Suffolk’s Development XI and also has experience as a stand-in skipper at both Bury St Edmunds and his current club.

He was handed the captaincy for the final Unicorns Championship fixture of the season, away to Buckinghamshire at Tring Park, and has now been handed the reins for next season.

Mansfield said: “It is a big honour. I was surprised to be asked, even though I did the job in the last game of the season against Buckinghamshire, so I knew I was in the running for it.

“I will be learning on the job, but hopefully I will have some experienced players around to help me, so it won’t be much of an issue. Whatever team you captain there are always going to be challenges to overcome which you do by supporting each other as a team.

“We will look to continue to pick players from within Suffolk, although it is difficult if you don’t have the quality in the county to play at Minor Counties level.

“The side will be relatively similar to this year under Tom Huggins. We are hoping that (ex-Essex bowler) Matt Salisbury will be involved again next season and we are hoping to add a batting pro.”

Mansfield admitted he will have to learn to cope with juggling his various roles, but said he was not planning to alter Suffolk’s approach too much on the field: “We are going to have to play more as a team and take responsibility, rather than relying on one or two players to do well.

“I would like to bring a winning culture. I don’t want players to just see it as representative cricket, but that they really want to win.

“At junior level you are playing and working your way up, but at the top level we need to win games of cricket, and if we don’t something will have to change. We will start with a clean slate — no-one is sure of their place in the side — and if we feel there is someone who deserves a chance they will be given it.”

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