WHILE his winter Down Under did not quite go accroding to plan, Netherfield captain Marc Brown is now intent on leading from the front and delivering a successful Parkside Road summer.
The 25-year-old spent the off-season in Melbourne, fulfilling a player-coach role at Eastern Cricket Association side North Balwyn while also working at the Shaun Brown Academy.
Netherfield finished a disappointing tenth in the Northern League standings last season although fared better in cup competitions and were crowned TWP Wealth Twenty20 champions.
But the right-handed batsman – who averaged 32.81 after notching 456 runs from 18 innings in 2013 – believes catapulting Netherfield up the league is a major priority this year.
“I would say the cricket in Australia was not what I envisaged but that’s just the nature of the game,” he said.
“The different formats of cricket out there meant opportunities needed to be grabbed. I only batted around ten times over the season and just didn’t really hit the straps.
“But that’s the game and I will be looking to take things I did pick up into this season which will hopefully benefit Netherfield and we can have a decent year.
“I really want us to find that consistency and if we can I personally don’t see any reason why we can’t win another trophy.
“I just want us to find that consistent and competitive edge to try and get us up into that top four where a club of Netherfield’s stature should be.”
Saliya Saman scored in excess of 2600 runs and took more than 300 wickets during six seasons at Carlisle, and joins the Parkside Road ranks as the club’s professional.
While his presence is not guaranteed for Saturday’s Northern League opener at St. Annes, the Sri Lankan is a man Brown holds in the highest regard.
“These things tend to happen during the first couple of weeks of the year with clubs not having their professional but we know we’re getting quality,” he added.
“He is collecting his visa today so it depends whether he can get a flight in time for Saturday. If not we may well have a sub pro.
“The club have taken a different direction this year in signing him as we have previously gone down the Australian and South African route.
“But wherever he has played in the UK, he has produced really good stats each year with both bat and ball so we have a lot of hope for him.”
St. Annes v Netherfield: Marc Brown (c), Ben Barrow, Ben Phillips, Brad Earl, Brendon Herron, Mark Clarkson, Tom Williamson, Nathan Chambers, Stuart Nixon, Ryan Wilson. Professional to be confirmed