Northcote is backing Woolpit to be Premier League surprise package

OUT TO IMPRESS:  Woolpit all-rounder Andy Northcote, pictured batting, is confident his side will prove to be a surprise to many this season as they aim to consolidate their place in the East Anglian Premier League in their debut season at the highest level of club cricket.
OUT TO IMPRESS: Woolpit all-rounder Andy Northcote, pictured batting, is confident his side will prove to be a surprise to many this season as they aim to consolidate their place in the East Anglian Premier League in their debut season at the highest level of club cricket.
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Woolpit all-rounder Andy Northcote has backed his side to be a surprise package in their first season in the East Anglian Premier League.

The club sealed promotion to the EAPL for the first time in their history following a last-gasp Two Counties Division One play-off triumph against Norwich.

The nucleus of that side 
remains for the new campaign, which commences tomorrow (11am) with a home encounter against Sudbury, who finished a disappointing ninth out of 12 teams last time out.

Overseas captain Mike Jones returns to once again lead the side, with strong additions Craig Eastlea form Worlington and Ben Shepperson from Mildenhall joining to bolster the batting attack alongside Craig Rutterford and Nothcote himself.

And it is that added firepower that has convinced the South African-born Italian international that the club can cause a few shocks as they look to establish themselves as Premier League outfit.

“We are really looking forward to the season starting,” he said.

“Being at home there should be a big crowd, which will give us a boost.

“We are looking strong and have recruited well over the winter which should see us compete strongly.

“The players we have signed will make us very strong and a side that can more than cope at this level.

“Ben will be a big player for us. He is pushing for Minor Counties Cricket and is a sensational batsmen, he is perfect for this club.

“It is also great to have Mike Jones back as captain. He is a massive player for us who has broken league records and leads young players as a great example.

“Mid-table has got to be the aim for us and there is no reason why we can’t achieve that.

“We know that are some strong teams in this division but with the players we have got, who are capable of big scoring, we would be disappointed not to at least be in mid-table.

“We will look to consolidate our place in the league then build on that solid platform.”

Despite Sudbury’s obvious advantage of having played at EAPL level for a number of years, Northcote remains confident of a positive outcome in tomorrow’s encounter as he reaffirmed the club’s desire to secure their status in the top division.

“If we play to our full potential then there is no reason why we can’t get the victory,” he added.

“I think the sides are quite balanced and if we can match them, that should balance out their advantage of experience.

“We are aware it will be a massive step up into the Premier League, but we are confident of competing well.

“If we can consolidate our place in the Premier League it would be the perfect season for the club to continue it’s progress.”