Tod searching for ‘another Neser’

Michael Neser
Michael Neser

Todmorden CC officials hope to be able to name their professional for 2015 by the end of January - but it won’t be Michael Neser.

The 24-year-old Australia made an astonishing impact in a short time for the Centre Vale club this year.

In 18 league matches, he hit 981 runs at an average of 89.18 and took 46 wickets at 17.36, bowling with plenty of pace.

Neser’s stay at Centre Vale was cut short by a call-up for the Australia A squad in early August and he has since been sidelined by a broken finger which required surgery and then a back injury.

Todmorden offered the South African-born player terms for 2015 before he left.

However, Todmorden’s cricket chairman Stuart Parker has now confirmed that the player will not be coming back for next summer.

“It’s not going to happen,” he said.

Twelve of the 14 Lancashire League clubs have announced their professionals for next year, the latest being Rishton who have snapped up all-rounder Kelly Smutts.

The South African played for Morecambe CC last season and turned out as a sub professional for Todmorden against Lowerhouse, taking seven for 50.

Parker said time was still very much on Todmorden’s side and they would not rush into a decision over Neser’s replacement.

“We have got a few names lined up and I am confident it is not an issue,” he said.

“We will probably have someone tied up by the end of January.”

Parker said Tod were looking for player very much in the Neser mould.

“We are looking for a guy who can bowl seam up and open the bowling as well as being able to bat to a decent standard,” he said.

Todmorden have not lost any of last year’s first team, according to Parker, and have recruited promising 15-year-old local lad Jack Hallows from Rawtenstall CC as second team wicketkeeper.

Parker said attempts to sign other players were ongoing but it was difficult because Todmorden was geographically out on a limb.

That, and the well documented loss of players from the game, was the reason the club was trying to develop its own players and was looking to recruit a paid head coach for the junior section.

“While we are trying to get senior players in, we want to create a structure to get more juniors coming through,” he said.

Parker said a few people had so far expressed an interest in the role and they would consider the applicants in due course.

Todmorden have announced that they will face Rochdale CC in two pre-season friendlies on Saturday, April 18 with the firsts at home.