Dukinfield begin their GMCL Championship campaign next Saturday, (22nd April) with a trip to a Greenfield side which has suffered consecutive relegations.
Dukinfield themselves skirted with the drop into Division 1 and it was only wins in the last 2 games which preserved their Championship status.
Preparations for the new season have seen a number of departures but also a series of new faces which have given opening bat Will Allen real cause for optimism. He said, “We are really pleased with our newcomers and are looking forward to pushing on this year”.
Replacing Rajakaruna Dadallage, (1,800 runs and 100 wickets in his 2 seasons at Clarendon Street ), as pro is Rameez Alam.
Allen commented, “Rameez is an exciting prospect for us. His previous league experience and record at Newton -le- Willows and Farnworth SC gives us a sound base for our batting line-up”. Alam, a 34 year old Pakistani, has an impressive record, averaging over 30 in all formats of first class and white ball cricket.
Whilst Syd da Silva has moved on and Jonny Gascoigne has relocated down south Dukinfield have recruited well to replace them. Mark Dilnutt has transferred from Denton SL and will bolster the top order . Arriving from Stretford is hard hitting batsman Munir Khan. Leading run scorer at Lesley Road last year Khan will certainly provide impetus.
They will also be looking to Allen himself for a repeat of his 600 runs in 2022.
Allen also reflected on the future of the Club. “We know that it is vital that we grow our own and are planning ahead”.
A team has been entered into the Sunday Development Division. This will be under the leadership of Andy Kay.
Allen went on to say “Andy is the ideal man to help our juniors take the step into senior cricket and to coach and mentor them as they look to progress”.
Dukinfield will certainly be looking for a better start to 2023 than 12 months previously. Only 2 wins in the first 9 games set the scene for a campaign battling the spectre of the drop. Asked about Dukinfield’s prospects Allen said “There are some strong teams in the Championship but we believe that the way we have prepared will give us a great chance of competing successfully”