Jamal’s runs can propel Chorley right up league

Second team captain Alex Howarth, professional Mohammed Jamal and first team captain Andy Holdsworth
Second team captain Alex Howarth, professional Mohammed Jamal and first team captain Andy Holdsworth

Chorley captain Andy Holdsworth has called for his side to find some consistency in this year’s Northern Premier League season.

The Windsor Park outfit showed they can perform at the highest level after dismantling big spenders Bamford Fieldhouse in last year’s National Knockout competition.

But Holdsworth admits despite some impressive results, consistency is always a problem his side.

He said: “One thing I want this season is consistency.

“We have the potential to perform at high levels as demonstrated in the National Knockout last season – however, consistency is our biggest problem.”

A new professional will be at Chorley this season as Mohammed Jamal has joined from Read Cricket Club.

Jamal joins the Windsor Park ranks fresh off a season which brought 1,173 runs at an average of 51.

Holdsworth added: “I’m not going to put any expectations on Jamal, as I believe he will do that himself, but he seems a conscientious hard-working cricketer who wants to improve and test himself.

“From what I have seen, he looks an excellent batsman who will add some real solidity to the batting line-up.”

Former professional Gaurav Dhar has taken the role as player-coach which Holdsworth believes he will relish.

He said: “I think less pressure will benefit Gaurav, and I believe we are already seeing the benefits of this throughout the winter period.

“He appears much happier in his work and this is evident with the ball.”

Changes have been a plenty at the club with Andrew Winrow joining from Euxton and Alex Howarth taking over form Ian Mawdesley as second-team captain.

Holdsworth is hoping for big things from the second XI.

He added: “Like any other season I always feel a good second team is essential to the success of the first team.

“Youngsters need to be learning their game and experiencing adult cricket in order to accelerate their progress and break into the first team, and hopefully this will be the case again this season.”

I think Chorley can beat anybody on their day but there is that consistency problem.

But I think it could be different this time, as I feel they have the best bowling attack in the league – Billy Smith and Richard Flood will be leading the attack and supported by Dhar, Will Moulton, David Fisher, Kieran McCullagh and Chris Harty.

The addition of Jamal can only benefit the battling which already has considerable talent in Fisher, Moulton, Ian Dickinson and Andy Griffiths.

A good start is essential but I think they are more than capable of notching up several wins in their opening six fixtures.

A top-four finish definitely isn’t out of the equation for Holdsworth’s side and I think they’ll be a surprise package.