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Captain Rob Goodwin says Old Buckenham are in a good place heading into 2023 Norfolk Cricket Alliance Division One season

Rob Goodwin believes Old Buckenham head into the 2023 season with the club in a good place both on and off the pitch.

After being relegated from the Lacons Brewery Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division two years ago, Old Bucks faced another battle for survival at the bottom end of the table in Division One last term.

With five games to go, a run of four consecutive wins helped the club avoid the drop and clinched seventh place in the table.

Rob Goodwin (batting) captains Old Buckenham again this year Picture: Mark Bullimore
Rob Goodwin (batting) captains Old Buckenham again this year Picture: Mark Bullimore

Old Bucks host Swardeston II on the opening day of the new season tomorrow (12pm), with captain Goodwin optimistic after a busy winter saw him bolster the squad with six additions, including two familiar faces.

“It was a transitional and difficult season last year but we came together as a team and as a club when it mattered,” he said.

“We got four wins on the spin which got us away from the relegation zone. I couldn’t fault the boys. We came together as a unit and we stayed up.

“It’s been an active winter. We’ve brought in some new talent.

We’ve got two players returning, one being the former captain Rob Thurley. He was out last season with a knee injury and having him back in the fold makes us stronger.

“Ian Harrison, who was at the club before I was at the club, has also returned.

“We’ve got Harvey Lake who has come in as a player coach and will help coach our thriving youth section.

“Oli Howles, Harvey Moody and Steven Guy have also come in. They’re all great, talented players.”

Old Bucks finished runners-up in the Premier Division back in 2015, before a pair of consecutive fourth-place finishes over the next two years.

Relegation followed at the end of the 2018 season, before the club bounced back at the first time of asking by winning Division One the following year.

But their latest stay in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance top flight was a short one, as Old Bucks finished ninth in 2021 to drop back down to Division One.

“I’d love to get promoted,” Goodwin said. “Promotion is always a goal of mine, but it’s going to be a tough league.

“You’ve got to take every game as it comes. Every team I believe in the league will have their strengths and we’ll just have to be on it every Saturday.

“We need to make sure we play to our strengths so we can be challenging around the top for promotion.

“With the players we’ve got and who have stuck by me and what we’re trying to achieve, and the young players coming through, I believe we’re in a good spot on and off the field.

“The club is working as a whole to bring in things off the field with club events and sponsorship.

“The club as a whole and with our youth section as well is in a really good place.”

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