GOATACRE have Hampshire star Matt Coles signed on for the 2014 campaign, but skipper Brad Dawson is not sure how often he’ll be able to use the all-rounder.
Coles, a teammate of Dawson’s brother Liam, will be involved in plenty of Championship cricket with his county side over the course of the season and as a result won’t be able to feature for the West of England Premier League Premier Two outfit.
However, Goatacre’s captain expects fireworks when the nifty left-handed batsman and medium-fast bowler does find time to make the trip to Wiltshire.
He told the Advertiser: “When we had Woody (Chris Wood) last year against Weston, he ran in and bowled and was quick. Standing at slip you realise how quick they are and Colesy is seven miles an hour quicker than Woody.
“If we were standing there at slip thinking Woody was quick, imagine seven miles an hour on top of that - it’ll be pretty interesting to bat against.
“We don’t have an overseas player, we don’t play anyone so if we can use Liam and if Liam can get someone to come down for nothing, purely because he’s mates with Liam and a few of us it’s good for us. We seem to survive with the same sort of village XI we’ve had for a while.
“We still stick at it when other people do their best to spend some cash and get an overseas player in. We do alright.”
As for the chances of getting his brother involved for his local team this term, Dawson said: “Their (Hampshire’s) County Championship games start on Sundays this year so we might not have him that much. If he keeps scoring 20, as he’s going, he might be playing second XI. He needs to get some runs. It would be nice if he could play for us Saturday and get in form but I guess he can’t.”
Goatacre start their Prem Two campaign with a trip to Potterne tomorrow, with Dawson still picking from the talent pool that has served the club well for the past half-decade.
“It helps. There are always 12 or 13 of us who are in and around it,” he said. “That’s who we pick from, mainly, and we just go from there and work things out.”
With Goatacre in Village Knockout Cup action against Shroton on Sunday, veteran all-rounder Kevin Iles sits out the league clash, but Jif Wilkins is involved.
Of the Knockout Cup, Dawson said: “Hopefully we can win it and go on in the competition. People look out for us. The Rockhampton lads said last year we should have been a lot further on than what we did and we probably should be, seeing we’re playing Prem Two cricket now.
“Now we’ve probably got our strongest team in it because George (Rigali) can play, Murph (Rob Murphy) can play, I think we should do alright in it. Whether we go the whole way comes down to the day and one person taking five wickets or scoring a hundred - it wins you the game.”