The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Wel­come boost for Stoney­wood-Dyce as Stander re­turns

- BY PAUL THIRD

Stoney­wood-Dyce coach Jan Stander will come out of his self-im­posed semire­tire­ment to help boost his club’s hopes of a re­turn to the East­ern Premier League this sum­mer.

Stander watched his club win the North-east Cham­pi­onship last year only to suf­fer an eight-wicket loss to Royal High Corstor­phine in the post-sea­son play-off fi­nal at Falk­land.

It means the Peo­ples Park men will have to re­peat their title-winning form of last year and change the end­ing in the play-off fi­nal if they are to seal a re­turn to the top-flight of Scot­tish club cricket and Stander ex­pects a keenly con­tested title this sum­mer.

He said: “I’m go­ing to play a few games this year as it’s im­por­tant we get the bal­ance of youth and ex­pe­ri­ence right in the team.

“We’ve lost two promis­ing young play­ers to Aberdeen­shire which was a fac­tor in per­suad­ing me to play a bit more this year.”

Stoney­wood-Dyce start their cam­paign with a home game against Ar­broath United to­mor­row while Gor­do­nians travel to Falk­land. Stander ex­pects the league to be a com­pet­i­tive one this sum­mer.

He said: “Gor­do­nians have strength­ened their team af­ter re­cruit­ing well with Ak­laq Bashir, who has played for us and Aberdeen­shire, join­ing them while Daniel Sut­ton, the cricket devel­op­ment of­fi­cer in the area, is go­ing to play for them, too.”

Stoney­wood-Dyce will fea­ture some fa­mil­iar faces as for­mer play­ers join some of the vet­er­ans in rep­re­sent­ing the club this term.

Stander said: “Jack Mitchell will con­tinue to lead as cap­tain while Shaun Coet­zer and Ge­orge Ni­nan should be avail­able a bit more this sea­son too which helps, but get­ting the bal- ance right is im­por­tant. We gave a cou­ple of new play­ers in Liam Thom, who was a ju­nior here, and an­other for­mer youth team player, Matthew Dal­ton.”

Else­where in the North­east Cham­pi­onship, Man­nofield be­gin their cam­paign at home to Dundee HSFP, while Mei­gle host For­farshire 2nd XI and Perth Doocot are at home to Strathmore.

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