BOLTON ASSOCIATION: We’re in it to win it says Walshaw captain Mikey Watt

Walshaw captain Mikey Watt

Walshaw captain Mikey Watt

First published in Sport The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , head of sport

WALSHAW’S ambition this season is simple: they want to win the league.

The Bury side have set the bar high after several years of what they see as underachievement.

They are targeting a first Bolton Association title since 2009 as their top priority and also have their sights set on more silverware in the league’s two knockout competitions.

Captain Mikey Watt believes they have the strongest and best squad for years and are now in a position to bring trophies back to Sycamore Road.

They have made an encouraging start, winning two and losing one of their completed league games and winning their opening group game in the league’s new 40/40 Sunday competition.

And it is that one defeat which springs to Watt’s mind first when reflecting on the opening few weeks of the campaign.

“It’s been a good start although we were obviously disappointed to lose to Flixton,” said Watt.

“We didn’t bowl well enough on the day and we have to correct that for next time.

“We want to be winning the league so we want to win every game.

“We have a team made up of players who have come up through the junior ranks, plus two overseas players in Ben Hilder and Rakitha Weerasundara who are from a club we have links with in Wellington, New Zealand.

“That’s the way we believe it should be done, there’s no point having junior sides if you are not going to promote them to the first team.

“Jack McClung, Gav Nichol and Nick Murphy have all come through the junior ranks and they are solid first team players now.

“Gav’s a good player, Nick is doing a great job for us again this year and Jack has been the most recent successful one who’s come through, batting number four and looking class.

“We have good experience in Darron Foy and Danny Hornby as well as Liam Riley and Stephen Holt, who have both come back to us.”

Watt admits Walshaw have not been good enough to win things for the last few years, but is confident the failings have been addressed and sufficient improvements made to make them serious challengers on all fronts this season.

“We have underperformed in recent seasons to be honest,” he said.

“We have gone into each season thinking we had a squad strong enough to win it, but we look back and see we didn’t.

“It’s a boost having Liam and Stephen back because they were both in the team when we won it five years ago.”

Walshaw travel to Association new boys Worsley in the league today followed by a home game against Standish in the Cross Cup tomorrow.

They have to go back to 2004 for the last time they lifted the latter, Hornby and Riley the only two players who are still in the side from the team that won it then.

And Watt says his side are in a stronger position to challenge for it this season.

“The reason we haven’t done that well in the Cross Cup is because we haven’t had enough bowling,” he said.

“We have had to have one or two part-time bowlers, but now we have six, seven, eight players who can hold their own with the ball.

“There’s also the 40/40 competition and the Lancashire Knockout to go for and there’s nothing that says we that can’t do well in all of them.”

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