Halstead’s youngsters to get help

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Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

Halstead captain Charlie Douglas-Hughes is hopeful some experienced hands on board can make their crop of talented youngsters blossom.

The club is looking to put the misery of successive relegations for their first team behind them as they begin to rebuild in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division Two.

Douglas-Hughes has promoted 52-year-old internationally-renowned bowling coach and former Essex player Ian Pont to the first-team after playing in the seconds last year to help aid develop their young teenagers.

He hopes the likes of schoolboy Tristan Blackledge and 19-year-old Ed Clark, who has returned to Star Stile from Kelvedon, can hit new heights under the Bangladesh Premier League-winning coach.

“We are still very much in transition having lost a lot of players last year,” said Douglas-Hughes, ahead of their opener at fellow Essex side Dunmow on Saturday (1pm).

“The aim is promotion, but with the young players coming through it will not be the end of the world if it does not happen this year — it is a two-year plan.”

England Ladies’ development player Catherine Dalton, Middlesex Ladies’ player of the season last year, will move up from the second team and will be underestimated at opposition bowlers’ peril.

Former South African Under-19 Dylan Verreynee, 22, has been signed as an overseas player after a spell at Coggeshall where the left-handed batsman averaged 50 runs in Division One in 2013.

Halstead II (11th out of 12 in Division Three) begin their Division Four campaign by hosting 
Great Bromley (1pm) with schoolboy Harry Pritchard expected to be knocking 
on the door of the first-team.

Halstead III (seventh) have been moved from Division Eight West to South and have to wait until May 3 (1pm) when Coggeshall III visit, to get under way.

The Sunday side (third), who were the club’s most successful in 2014, open their Piri Piri North Essex League Division One campaign at home to West Mersea on April 27 (1pm).