Weather­ley keen to show what he can do

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Hockey - By Joe Eves

New Kent bats­man Joe Weather­ley has high hopes for the county this sea­son fol­low­ing his sea­son-long loan move from Hamp­shire. With the ar­rival of in­ter­na­tional bats­men Rilee Ros­souw and Ge­orge Bai­ley, Weather­ley de­cided to make the move to Kent fol­low­ing a dis­cus­sion with Hamp­shire head coach Giles White. Weather­ley said: “Kent came in and showed a lot of interest in me, so it was a bit of a no-brainer to make the move. “I joined the lads for the start of pre-sea­son. It’s a good group and they’ve wel­comed me with open arms.” The for­mer Eng­land un­der-19 cap­tain made his de­but in all three for­mats for Hamp­shire in 2016 and is look­ing for more suc­cess in 2017. He said: “I’d like to play in all three forms but I think I am more suited to red ball cricket. “I got a few op­por­tu­ni­ties in white ball last year so hope­fully I can ce­ment a place in the team.” The bats­man’s ar­rival has co­in­cided with a new start for the county fol­low­ing the ap­point­ment of Matt Walker as head coach and Weather­ley has been im­pressed with what he’s seen so far. He said: “Matt knows the club well and he’s tried to put his own stamp on things. He’s a good coach and I’ve heard a lot of good things about him from around the cir­cuit, as well as from within the dress­ing room. “We’ve had meet­ings about how we’re go­ing to do things on and off the field. “It’s def­i­nitely a dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ment from what I’m used to but it’s nice to come into a friendly dress­ing room and it feels like a fam­ily club. “There aren’t any in­ter­na­tional stars in the dress­ing room but we’ve got peo­ple like Dar­ren Stevens and James Tred­well who have played al­most 20 years of county cricket and have a wealth of ex­pe­ri­ence that me and the other young­sters can learn from.” Last sea­son in the County Cham­pi­onship, Kent weren’t pro­moted de­spite fin­ish­ing sec­ond, due to re­struc­tur­ing of the top divi­sion but Weather­ley has seen enough to sug­gest Kent can reach their long-term goal in 2017. He said: “The guys had a great year fin­ish­ing sec­ond and in any other year, the club would’ve been in Divi­sion 1 and I don’t see any rea­son why we can’t achieve that this sea­son.”

have signed Mid­dle­sex fast bowler James Har­ris on loan for the start of the sea­son. The 26-year-old right-armer was pre­vi­ously one of the hottest prospects in the game af­ter com­ing through the ranks at Glam­or­gan be­fore mov­ing to Lord’s in 2013.

Pic­ture: Chris Davey

Kent cap­tain Sam North­east – pos­i­tive mes­sage

Pic­ture: Chris Davey

Joe Weather­ley – on a sea­son­long loan

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