STAYLEY Cricket Club is driving forward after striking a deal with Manchester Van Sales who become new club sponsors.
The business, which is based in Stalybridge, has agreed a deal with the Millbrook club which is worth a four-figure sum.
Manchester Van Sales, which opened its new showroom on Stamford Street in November 2019, will provide playing kits for the cricket teams.The link came about as Stayley president Steven Bird whose company SWB Commercials, buys vehicles off the firm.
“It is always good to give something back to the local community and we are delighted to be the cricket club’s new sponsor,” explained Chris Miller, a director of Manchester Van Sales.
Steven, whose company had previously sponsored the club, added: “We are grateful that a local business has helped us, especially at a time like this.”
The company, which specialises in leisure vans, enjoyed a successful 2020.
“Most people were unable to go overseas on holiday, so they have treated themselves to a leisure van,” he explained.
Stayley have also begun work on a big extension of their clubhouse and to extend the outdoor area.
Members, many of whom are tradesmen, will be carrying out much of the work.
Stayley have signed former Leicestershire and Essex all-rounder Alex Roberts, 37, as their professional for the forthcoming season.
Steven said: “There are new rules which makes it more difficult to sign overseas players.
“As a result, there is massive demand for English lads, and we believe we have one of the best available.”
Roberts will be coaching the junior section which is being “completely revamped”.
It is part of a five-year plan starting with the Under-9s to bring through players to the senior sides.
Aussie Peter Skuse, the club captain, has moved on after five years and returned to Saddleworth where he was once pro.
Andy Gleave, who was vice-captain, steps up to take charge having previously skippered Delph to the most successful season in the club’s history.
Batsman Michael Jones, who began his playing days at Stayley, has returned. He was captain at Dukinfield last season.
Stayley have also signed opening batsman Chris Tipper, the former Cheshire and Lancashire seconds player, from Delph and brought in all-rounder Jake Fenton from Dukinfield.
The club is also hoping youngsters Tom Parker, an off-spin bowler, bowler Ciaran McQuillan and all-rounder James Howard will be knocking on the first-team door this season.
Steve believes Stayley have recruited well for their championship campaign in the Greater Manchester Cricket League.
He believes the club is putting the right building blocks in place for future success, pointing out they last silverware was winning the Saddleworth League in 1963.