BROMSGROVE skipper Mark Evenson is calling on the youngsters in the Boars’ feeder teams to impress during this year’s Birmingham League Division One campaign.
With plenty of homegrown talent among the Boars’ second, third and fourth teams, Evenson is calling on the youngsters to make a claim for themselves.
Teenage bowler George Marshall, who took eight wickets from five league games after being called up from the second team last term, is one of the youngsters Evenson hopes continues to progress.
Batsman Alistair Hickman, who also made the step-up to the first team, hit 108 runs in his five league appearances for the Boars and is another talent who is expected to get better.
Evenson, who will go into his 11th year as captain when the season starts on April 29, said: “The club is very transparent as everyone can see there is a clear pathway for youngsters to be rewarded with first team cricket if they perform.
“When George was brought into the first team he showed some of the experienced people how to bowl.
“He was a breath of fresh air and had no fear factor and I have no doubt he will have every opportunity to move forward this season.
“The club is in a position to bridge the gap between divisions as players will not be jumping up too many levels.”
Ahead of the season opener against Attock next month, Evenson has continued to bolster his squad as Deon Patel became the latest addition to the ranks.
The middle order batsman and leg-spin bowler has joined the St Godwalds Park-based side from Halesowen and is the son of former Boars player Kish Patel.
Deon, who has been in-and-out of Halesowen’s first and second team, is the Boars’ fourth signing of the season.
The Standard reported in January that Evenson had snapped up experienced seam bowler Gareth Williams from Kidderminster and new ball bowler Jack Taylor from Old Elizabethans.
Right-arm orthodox bowler James Ganderton also rejoined the Boars following a year out through work commitments.
Evenson added: “Deon is a bit of an unknown entity but he wants the next challenge.
“After hopping between the first and second team at Halesowen he wants to push himself here and he will bring some youthful energy to the squad.
“Gareth will bring bags of experience as he’s a Birmingham League stalwart, knows his way around the cricket pitch and takes plenty of wickets every season.
“He also has the know-how about winning games which is proved by his successful career.
“James Ganderton has the knack of getting good batsmen out which will help us while Jack Taylor is highly thought of and he is looking to make the step-up.”
And with the likes of Worcestershire’s Alexei Kervezee and fellow batsmen Jayden Levitt and Ashley Newfield leading the line, Evenson is hoping the Boars can improve on last season’s eighth placed finish.
But the Boars skipper has also called on his lower order batsman to increase their run rate.
“There’s no doubt we have been under achieving the last three seasons as we have finished sixth, seventh and eighth,” he added.
“Alexei, Jayden and Ashley do what they do best and our middle order is picking up around 800 runs a season.
“However, the next bracket is getting a run tally of about 300 and we could do with pushing that up to about 450.
“It is down to the rest of the club to help them get there.”