Pinetown Cricket Club look forward to a brighter future

2014-09-11 00:00

PINETOWN Cricket Club are back in the Premier League this season with some new faces and a new coach to launch their campaign.

Winning the Challenge League last year after relegation in 2012/13, the club are determined to be noticed back in the top flight, but it won’t be a cakewalk for them.

While the action on the field begins in just over two weeks, there has been much off- and pre-season activity at PCC.

Last season’s winning player/coach Barry Dyer is currently in the UK which has seen the club securing the services of James Pentz as coach of the first team.

Pentz, a local resident and passionate cricket man, adds a new chapter to his coaching career in taking charge of a Premier League side.

“I have been itching for the opportunity to work within a Premier League side and to take the reins at Pinetown, one of the oldest cricket clubs in the country, is fantastic,” he said.

“This season is not a fresh start just for me, but it’s also a new era for the club as we endeavour to establish ourselves in the Premier League. Things are happening and it’s about blending the old and new to move forward.”

Pinetown Cricket Club chairman Marco Chixaro expressed his confidence in Pentz’s appointment, saying, “He brings much needed structure to the set-up and will complement the off-season signings we have secured.” Chixaro also thanked Dyer for his winning contribution to the club last season. “He did a superb job as player and coach in steering our ship through some troubled and tricky waters last season,” he said. “As a club, we extend our sincere appreciation to him for his hard work, time and effort.”

Besides a new face at the coaching helm, another arrival at PCC is also worth noting. Greg Ford (22), son of former Dolphins and Protea coach Graham, adds impetuosity to the batting ranks, while some possible sponsorship agreements are in the pipeline.

“Development at the club, from senior to junior levels, has been paramount and we are in the process of sorting out the finer points of sponsorship,” said Chixaro. “This is something which will give the club a much-needed financial injection.”

Another new avenue for Pinetown this season is the club’s having their first ever women’s team. “A new coach, new players, growth from top to bottom plus the women’s team bodes well for the months ahead,” said Chixaro. “However, our goal is to be competitive and be seen as a respected force in the Premier League. It’s vastly different from … last season.”

Pinetown hits off against African Warriors at Lahee Park on Sunday, September 28, but get into the swing of things with a pre-season tour to play Uthungulu in Empangeni next weekend.

Training is at Lahee Park for senior players on Tuesday and Thursday, from 4.30 pm, while juniors (U11, U13, U15) train at the same time on Friday.

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