Batsman expects teams to be 'gunning' for Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One champions Worlington in 2019
Worlington’s Graham Ford has admitted that teams are likely to be ‘gunning’ for the reigning Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship Division One champions in 2019.
After a season of struggle in 2017, Worlington were a different force last year, winning 17 of their 22 games to clinch the title by a comfortable 47-point margin from Witham in second place.
Top-order batsman Ford is eager to see his side challenging for honours again this time around, but he believes it is going to be a much tougher assignment.
“We are looking to be right up there again but we know other teams have strengthened and lots of signings have been made,” said Ford.
“A club like ours came out of nowhere to win it last season and that probably upset a few people.
“Teams will be gunning for us and I expect a number of them to have stronger campaigns.
“It will be a lot closer but we can only focus on ourselves. If we do that and play to the levels we can, then we will have a decent season.”
It has been a busy winter of comings and goings for the champions, who have signed South African left-armer Johannes Diesko as their overseas player.
The Bury St Edmunds trio of Luke du Plooy, Freddie Statham and Oliver Riddick have also come in to the bolster the ranks, while Ford feels that the return to fitness of his brother and team captain Richard from a back injury will hold the club in good stead.
“We are really happy with the signings, and Johannes in particular will offer some good experience,” added Ford.
“It is also going to be very important to have Richard available for 22 games of the season.
“We had a lot of different captains last season and while we still went on to win the league, it did unsettle things.
“Having him back will help us as a group and he is also a very good wicket-keeper.”
Worlington, who have lost the services of Charlie Tunstall, Ashan Athurkoralage and Nuwan Jayasena to clubs in Norfolk, will begin the defence of their title on the road at Wivenhoe Town on Saturday (12.30pm).