Change of captain at North Devon as Matt Westaway takes over

PUBLISHED: 16:47 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 16:47 31 January 2018

Matt Westaway in action. Picture: Alex Walton.

Matt Westaway in action. Picture: Alex Walton.

Archant

Westaway replaces Ed Yeo as captain of the Instow side ahead of their 2018 Tolchards Devon Premier campaign

Ed Yeo captained North Devon last season, but only averaged 19 with the bat. Picture: Matt Smart Ed Yeo captained North Devon last season, but only averaged 19 with the bat. Picture: Matt Smart

North Devon have turned to Matt Westaway for a third time as their 1st XI captain.

Westaway, 37, was skipper for the first time in 2008 when he took over from Premier-winning captain Rob Ayre.

During Westaway’s first term as captain – he only did one year - North Devon were inaugural winners of the Devon T20 Cup.

After a break from cricket to polish up his golf, Westaway returned in 2010 and resumed his place in the seam bowling attack, taking 37 wickets.

Westaway did a second stint as skipper in 2014, taking over from Matt Dart for one season only

North Devon have got through a few captains in recent seasons. Barney Huxtable was skipper in 2015 and 2016, followed by Ed Yeo last summer.

Although Yeo did a respectable job in 2017, he didn’t want to continue as he felt all the running around that goes with being captain was affecting his game.

Westaway was approached by the committee to act as captain again – and agreed.

“Being 1st XI captain of any club entails a huge amount of work, not just on the pitch but off it,” said Westaway.

“Mark Ansell as chairman gets through a huge workload behind the scenes, such as finding an overseas player.

“Matt Dart does a tremendous job organising teams, transport arrangements and many of the details that go into running the playing side of the club.

“With people like Mark and Matt in place, my job as captain is made that much easier.”

North Devon finished fifth out of ten in the Premier Division last season, but were mathematically closer to second bottom Torquay than runners-up Bradninch.

North Devon have made no significant signings so far. Other than an overseas replacement for batsman Callum Hotham, there are unlikely to be too many changes of personnel at Instow this summer.

Westaway hopes to have a settled side of players who know their roles and responsibilities.

“If we can harness the potential among the players we will have a chance of being competitive,” said Westaway.

Batter Dan Bowser should be available more regularly in the season ahead having missed chunks of 2017 to play for the England Disability XI.

Bigger things are expected of early order batsman Tom Popham, who stepped up from lower-league cricket with Barnstaple and Pilton in 2016 to make nearly 400 league runs in his debut Premier Division season.

Westaway is hoping a fully fit Jack Popham will kick on from last season’s 23 wickets at around 23 runs each.

Popham spent much of the season getting over an injury that stopped him bowling at full tilt.

Said Westaway: “Jack needs to be managed correctly this season as when he is physically fit he has all the right attributes to be a real handful for Premier batsmen.”

Other Sport Stories

Tue, 16:13

An action packed weekend in the North Devon Football League saw three of the four division titles wrapped up.

Read more
Tue, 16:08

Adrian Isherwood starred with bat and ball for North Devon in their 132-run win at Bradninch.

Read more
Tue, 16:06

Bideford go to Ivybridge this Saturday still smarting from a seven-wicket defeat by joint leaders Torquay.

Read more
Tue, 16:03

Brady Saunders and Jack Moore were among the runs in Barnstaple and Pilton’s win over Chardstock in the D Division East.

Read more
Tue, 16:03

Hatherleigh skipper Mark Lake isn’t about to panic despite a second successive Premier Division defeat.

Read more
Tue, 16:02

Filleigh will be looking for a third straight win this Saturday when they host Ipplepen.

Read more
Tue, 16:01

Braunton are hovering above the C Division East bottom three after a 32-run defeat at home to Ottery.

Read more
Mon, 11:57

A superb attacking display from Billy Stanbury wrapped up a good evening for Bideford Amateur Boxing Club on Saturday.

Read more
Friday, May 18, 2018

North Devon angling round up with Tony Gussin

Read more
Wednesday, May 16, 2018

A hat-trick from CJ Roberts helped Braunton to their first Brayford Cup since 2014.

Read more

Most Read Sport

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications