FOR THE second close season running, much-fancied New Farnley have made considerable waves in terms of their Bradford League recruitment.
The marquee signing for the ambitious West Leeds outfit is free-scoring former York batsman Simon Lambert, top Yorkshire League scorer in the past two seasons with 1,948 runs at an impressive 46.38 – with the top-order man also featuring for Warwickshire seconds last term.
The aim for Lambert is to now step up and cut the mustard in the exacting arena of Bradford League cricket after his time at York, something which can represent a wholly different challenge, as his former team-mate Duncan Snell can testify from his experiences at Woodlands last season.
But there is certainly no doubting Lambert’s credentials.
Secretary Neil Stokoe said: “Simon is a big signing for us, with his pedigree from York CC and hopefully he can do well on our tracks in this league, although the bowling is much better in this league.
“We will see how he gets on. He’s a good pedigree also with Warwickshire seconds and in Australia.”
East Bierley’s Richard Atkins is another new arrival, while Joe Suggitt has rejoined the club from Hanging Heaton and will captain the second XI.
Lee Goddard will keep wicket for the firsts, with Mattie Good heading to Harrogate.
New first XI skipper is Nick Johnson, with Goddard being vice-captain, enabling last year’s captain Mark Lawson to concentrate on his batting and bowling.
Farnley will again have Yorkshire’s James Middlebrook on their books, although his availability is likely to hinge on how much England utilise Adil Rashid during the summer.
Andrew Hodd is also signed up again for Farnley, although he did not feature last term due to his Headingley commitments.
Meanwhile, Stokoe has labelled Farnley’s start to the season as a ‘baptism of fire’ with the side facing Pudsey Congs, East Bierley and Cleckheaton, while also having a date with Woodlands in the Priestley Cup and champions Congs in the T20 competition.
Stokoe said: “If we can get through to the end of May and be in the top half of the table, I will be well chuffed with that fixture list.”