Cricket club vision for young Bacup players

Jake Bracewell, top, with Niall, Brady and Patrick Boardman at Bacup Cricket Club

Jake Bracewell, top, with Niall, Brady and Patrick Boardman at Bacup Cricket Club

First published in North West The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , .

BACUP Cricket Club has unveiled plans to build new training facilities for its ‘thriving’ youth section.

Club officials are keen to combat a lack of practice space at Lanehead Lane by installing two new artificial wickets at the ground.

Committee member Graham Naylor said the new wickets were ‘essential’ to ensure the club’s five junior teams could continue to succeed.

Bacup overhauled its youth section in 2011 in order to feed more players into its senior teams, but Mr Naylor said that the youngsters sometimes missed out on training sessions if they clashed with first team fixtures. More than 50 youngsters represent the club’s youth section every week, with many making the step into the 3rd XI.

Mr Naylor, 46, said: “What we’re hoping for is a two-lane training wicket away from the main pitch. At the minute we have no off-field facilities, which means the kids can’t train when the first team are playing their evening Twenty20 games.

“It only happens a couple of times a season, but when you factor in bad weather and senior training, it means the youth teams might not get to train outdoors for a month sometimes.”

Plans have been submitted to Rossendale Council which could see the non-turf wickets placed near Bacup Bowling Club later this year.

The work would involve the removal of a seating area and advertising boards, and levelling of the ground to allow the 33 metre lanes to be installed.

Mr Naylor, from Stacksteads, said the club had applied for a grant from Sport England to finance the work, but also appealed for potential sponsors to contact him via

He said: “We’re a big part of the community here and I know everyone wants to keep the club at the heart of it. If we want to keep moving players through the age groups, then we need the off-field facilities.”

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