No pressure on youthful Exning to make swift return to Division Two

YOUNG SIDE: Simon Allen will skipper Exning this season
YOUNG SIDE: Simon Allen will skipper Exning this season

Exning may have been relegated down to Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Division Three last season, but captain Simon Allen has insisted there is no pressure on the team to bounce back at the first time of asking, writes Liam Apicella.

The 2016 campaign was largely one to forget for The Park-based outfit, who finished bottom of the table after picking up just four victories.

But Allen believes the club’s decision to promote from within this year will lead to brighter times, though that they may not mean an instant return to Division Two.

“We have some really exciting talents but we will also be cautious with them and not get ahead of ourselves,” said the skipper.

“They are going to need time to bed in and that could lead to some inconsistent results.

“If we can mount a challenge and go up then that would be a brilliant achievement.

“But this season is more about our promising crop of youngsters and helping them to blossom in senior cricket.”

While other young players may come into the side as the season progresses, Allen namechecked Oakley Colby, Matthew Lister, James Turner and Joshua King as four that will be included from the start of the season.

In terms of outgoings, Exning have lost the services of all-rounder Peter Woods, who has emigrated to the USA.

Life in Division Three for the club will begin on Saturday with a home game against Woolpit II (1pm).