Award winner Adam eyes improvement

EYE ON THE BALL: Player of the year Adam Mansfield takes a catch during indoor nets on Sunday
EYE ON THE BALL: Player of the year Adam Mansfield takes a catch during indoor nets on Sunday

Sudbury’s player-of-the-year Adam Mansfield believes he can improve further after working with ex-Durham wicketkeeper Chris Scott.

The 21-year-old vice-captain scooped the top award at Sudbury Cricket Club’s star-studded annual dinner at the Masonic Hall in the town centre on Saturday night.

And after the keeper appropriately received the award from ex-England, Kent and Leicestershire wicketkeeper Paul Nixon, he is hoping skills passed on by another county cricket hero can help him improve his game further.

The sports coaching and physical education second-year student said: “I have not had much of a break really as I have been training at my uni with Chris Scott.

“I had a month off in October, but then I was back training at Anglia Ruskin Univeristy in Cambridge.

“They have an MCC academy for the universities in Cambridge and I went for a trial with him in October.”

Mansfield, who has handed over the reins of captain of the Sunday side to Nathan Poole, but will still be playing, also had a good chat with Nixon on the art of wicketkeeping on Saturday, ahead of the nets session at Cornard Sports Centre on Sunday.

“I remember watching him when he was playing for England,” he said. “He made a really good speech and we had a good chat about wicketkeeping and he gave me a few ideas.”

He added: “It was a bit of a surprise to win it (the award) as quite a few other players have had a good season and it was a privilege to win it.”

Nixon was not the only ex-county star at the dinner, as Middlesex captain, and former Sudbury player, Neil Dexter joined him for a question and answer session.

Mansfield’s former coach Andy Holness was awarded the club person of the year trophy, while Phil Halliday won the over-50s player-of-the-year gong and Adam Clark was named most improved.

Vice-chairman Louis Brooks said: “The evening was a great success. Paul Nixon was an excellent speaker and there was a good question and answer session with Neil and Paul.”

Meanwhile, the first official whole club indoor nets session on Sunday saw a healthy turnout of around 20 as the East Anglian Premier League Club began their preparations for Aprils’ season opener.

The usual friendly with Long Melford is expected to provide the first real examination of Darren Batch’s side, the Suffolk batsman again leading the Talbots as captain.

South African all-rounder Jandre Coetzee is returning 
to Friars Street for a third spell as overseas coach, in place of Sri Lankan Hasantha Fernando.