Falkland are ready to deliver a successful 2016 says skipper

Falkland's Brock Ditchmen
Falkland's Brock Ditchmen

Falkland Cricket Club captain Brock Ditchmen reckons the side is at its very strongest ahead of the new season.

Ditchmen, who has taken over the captaincy from Scottish international Safyaan Sharif, has been part of the Eastern Premier League (EPL) club for four years.

With the start of the new season set to get underway this weekend, the new skipper has sounded an ominous warning to the club’s competition.

“Pre-season has gone great for us and we’ve been training well,” he said.

“I’ve been at the club for around four years now and I don’t think we’ve had a better group of players on the park.”

Ditchmen’s captaincy wasn’t the only shuffle made by the Scroggie Park club over the pre-season.

Cricket Scotland development office Stephen Boyd was drafted in as new head coach.

Boyd, who will also take to the field for Falkland, has played Minor Counties Cricket for Northumberland and represented England at U17 level.

The new man at the helm has made an immediate impact over the past few months, said Ditchmen.

“He’s an excellent coach,” said the captain.

“You can see that from our performances in pre-season.

“What he’s brought to us is a real professionalism and has really worked on making us consistent.

“If we are going to get beaten, then he’s made sure that it won’t be by a lot.”

The quality at Falkland isn’t in doubt, and the club punches well above its weight as the only village side in the EPL.

Sharif has brought international recognition to the village during his time as captain, and it’s a role Ditchmen is determined to represent well.

“It involves a lot of things off the park,” he said.

“There is also lots of organisation involved but I don’t see it as an added pressure - it’s something that I’m enjoying.”

Tomorrow (Saturday), Falkland will begin their competitive campaign when they host last season’s title winners, Grange.

“It couldn’t be a tougher start to the new season, playing the champions,” said Ditchmen.

“But that’s what we want, it’ll set a standard and give us a good idea where we are.”

The club attracted national interest last term when it reached the latter stages of the prestigious Village Cup having won the Scottish regional finals.

Once through that stage, the side was forced to endure some gruelling trips south in rounds five and six.

Ditchmen, though, says the structure of this season’s tournament may play into the club’s hands.

“It’s a competition we all look forward to,” he said.

“Last year we played on some really narrow pitches in England, but, the way it’s set up this year, they would have to come up to play at Falkland.”