Ex-England Test star Bill Athey will lend Ludlow expertise

Ludlow’s cricketers will benefit from some top class guidance this summer with ex-England batsman Bill Athey taking on a coaching role.

England's Bill Athey.
England's Bill Athey.

Athey, who played county cricket for Gloucestershire, Yorkshire, Sussex and Worcestershire and won 23 Test caps, worked with the club towards the end of last season and has agreed to return.

The 63-year-old will coach the club’s juniors and seniors on a Wednesday evening throughout the summer.

First team skipper Louis Watkins is delighted to have Athey on board as the countdown to the new Shropshire County League campaign continues.

“Bill lives in Herefordshire and he did some work with us last season,” said Watkins. “And he has agreed to come and coach at the club again this season.

“It’s great to have a former Test player and someone with his knowledge and experience working with our players. He is a top bloke as well and great to work with.

“He will be coaching the youngsters for a session on Wednesday nights and then working with the seniors.

“It’s been a few years since we have had a professional coaching the youngsters and we had identified that we hadn’t had as many young players come through in recent years. That was something we wanted to address.

“We want to push the development of our younger players and there is no one better than Bill to help with that.”

And there has been another major boost for the club with a new three-lane net facility now nearing completion.

“Getting the new net facility is a really big positive,” added Watkins, whose side will start their Premier Division campaign at Newport on April 17.

“There are three lanes and it will benefit all of our players – juniors and seniors.

“The groundwork was done in November and we are expecting them to be all finished by the end of March. It will be great to get out there for some sessions before the new season starts.

“With getting Bill and the new nets, the club have invested really well this year.”

And Watkins is expecting a positive year on the pitch.

“It was difficult last season and we had a few players who didn’t commit to playing, but they are all back now and keen to get going,” he added. “I think we will go quite well this season.”

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