New head coach Huggett to spearhead junior initiative at Centre Vale

Andrew Sutcliffe
Andrew Sutcliffe

Todmorden CC is launching a major new drive to attract more juniors to the club.

It will be led by new head coach John Huggett and backed by an expanded band of coaches at the Lancashire League club.

We see the junior side of our club as the most important section as it is our future

Todmorden CC first team skipper Andrew Sutcliffe

Tod will also run a new girls’ team this summer.

A junior signing on and launch evening will be held at Centre Vale on Friday, March 27 (7.30pm).

First team skipper Andrew Sutcliffe said: “We see the junior side of our club as the most important section as it is our future.”

Sutcliffe said the club had 55 junior members last season but the town was big enough to provide more youngsters for Tod and rivals Walsden CC.

He estimated that there were around 1,000 children in primary schools in Todmorden.

He said the club was keen to get the message across to parents that they could provide a safe environment for youngsters to develop their sporting skills and have fun.

Todmorden have put junior development back in the hands of the full cricket committee over the winter.

Huggett is a UK level two coach aiming to work towards his level three certificate.

He has had previous experience of working with junior players in the Bolton League.

The additions to the junior coaching staff are Kristian Garland, Elliott Gilford, John Stobbs, Ellie Pearson and Ben Pearson. They are booked on coaching courses and will work alongside existing club coaches Stuart Priestley, Lee Pearson and John Barker.

Clubs across many different sports are finding it harder to attract youngsters and Sutcliffe said Todmorden were determined to improve their ‘junior cricket product’ and do their bit to increase junior sporting participation levels.

Todmorden will run teams for under nines, 11s, 13s and 15s as well as a Development Squad in 2015.

The girls’ section is being set up with the help of the Lancashire Cricket Board and Sutcliffe said it was an exciting development for the club and the town.

Geoff Miller OBE will be the guest speaker at an early-season Todmorden CC dinner.

The ex-Derbyshire, Essex and England spinner, a former England selector and now the Derbyshire CCC president, will be at the Centre Vale club on Friday, April 24 (7.0).

Tickets for the event, which will also have a three-course meal and comedian, are £30 from 07763 853833.