As cricketers start to dust off their whites and pads for the new season, Diss CC are intending to put a big emphasis on junior cricket in 2017.
The Rectory Meadow-based outfit has set up two initiatives, both of which it is hoped will help youngsters to enjoy the game, as well as potentially providing the club with stars of the future.
As such, Diss have signed up for the England and Wales Cricket Board’s (ECB) Allstars programme for children aged between five and eight.
From Friday, May 19, the club will host weekly coaching sessions over a period of eight weeks.
The cost of the course is £40 per child, who will receive a kit bag, shirt, hat and bat as part of the package.
The sessions will be put on by Andy Horobin, third-team captain James Skilliter and chairman Douglas Young.
In addition, the club will be running junior (nine to 16-year-olds) training sessions on Friday evenings from 6.15pm to 7.45pm starting on April 28.
These will be structured coaching at levels appropriate to each individual ability running through the summer to the end of August.
The sessions are all free subject to a club membership registration fee of £15, for which youngsters will receive a club playing shirt with their names on the back.
The clubhouse will be open and a barbecue will be available for watching parents.
On both initiatives, chairman Young said: “The youth side of the game has always been an important aspect to us at Diss.
“We had a number of youngsters playing for the senior teams last year and it will be the same this year.
“Hopefully we can get a good number of juniors involved in these sessions and give them a good taste of cricket.
n On the senior side of things, the first team will this year be skippered by Mark Williamson.
He has replaced James Wilby in the role after the batsman missed a number of matches last year with a knee injury.
It is hoped Wilby will be available for selection this term, providing there are no setbacks in his recovery.