The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)
Welcome boost for Stoneywood-Dyce as Stander returns
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.