DANNY Delvard is stepping down as captain at Tonge to take over as cricket manager.

The change will come into effect at the end of the season and mean the Castle Hill club are looking for a new captain for next season.

Delvard has been skipper at Tonge for the last three years and been integral to the resurgence of the club.

Tonge currently sit fifth in the Bolton League Association division with five wins and four defeats so far this season and retain ambitions of finishing in the top two promotion places.

That is in stark contrast to the situation when Delvard took over the job.

Tonge went a season without winning a single game and then avoided the same thing happening again with a final-day victory which sparked wild celebrations at the club.

At the lowest point of their problems, which were both financial and having modest quantity and quality of players, Tonge were offered the opportunity by the league to go without a second team and for their first team to play league games as friendlies and therefore for no points.

Led by chairman Paul Schofield and a determined group of volunteers, they did not take up the offer and worked through their problems.

The club is now thriving on the field, with the second team currently fifth, and off it where the finances are stable.

Delvard said: "It's the right time for me to step down and someone else to come in to try to take us to the next level.

"It's a great opportunity for someone to be captain of this side.

"The two senior teams are going fairly well and the club's finances are in a good way.

"We've turned around the finances in the last three years and that is one of the big successes we've had as well as improving on the field.

"Some people might question the timing of my decision, but it's been made now to give us plenty of time to plan for 2019 and beyond.

"We're already in the process of sourcing an overseas for next season because Cameron Lucas only has a two-year visa, and we've got the pro Tilaksha Malshan until 2019.

"The next step is to source expressions of interest for the position of captain from players who are already at the club and the external cricket community.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed representing the club in this capacity and would like to think my contributions have been significant to our progression in a variety of ways.

"So the process is smooth and causes minimal disruption, I will continue in the role until the end of the season so the momentum of the club is maintained.

"I will continue as a player, if selected, for whatever team, and have also accepted the role of cricket manager, albeit further detail on our strategy and expectations needs discussing with Paul Schofield."

One of the obvious positives at Tonge has been the team spirit engendered by a squad which has bought into the challenge of helping the club out of trouble and making them competitive again.

"One of my first aims was to make us competitive," said Delvard.

"Now the aim is to win games. We're not just turning up to play now, we're turning up to win.

"The good thing is when we lose, it hurts. It hurts the players when they go back into the dressing room after getting beat, and when I see that I think 'yes, we're there'.

"It's all about the culture at the club, it's about the way you behave and remembering you are representing Tonge Cricket Club.

"If you behave right and apply yourself in the right way at all times you will be successful.

"When I think about my time as captain I think how do I measure success over the last three years.

"We're winning games in the league against some good teams, we're 12 points behind second place, the second team are fifth and reached the quarter-final of the cup, which people might not think is much but is good from where we came from.

"In the future I would like to see us start an under-15s side which will eventually provide a link between the juniors and the senior sides.

"It probably wouldn't be that good when they start, but they will get better in time and they will know there is the chance to progress from there into the senior sides.

"We've got a good atmosphere at the club which helps us on the field.

"Don't get me wrong, we fall out with each other but everyone wants the same thing, which is for Tonge Cricket Club to win."