Rob Foster

Rob Foster excited about challenge ahead

By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle

ROB FOSTER insists he’s excited at the challenge of trying to bring further success to his home town club after his appointment as Shrewsbury Cricket Club’s new captain was officially confirmed.

Foster, the Shropshire allrounder, was always likely to succeed his oolder brother Ed in the top job at London Road with his new role rubberstamped at the Birmingham League premier division club’s AGM.

“I will look to bring my own style to it but it’s an exciting challenge and I’m really looking forward to it,” said Foster, 25. “It is a big honour when you look at the calibre of players who have done it in the past.”

Foster will take charge of an exciting young side but is pleased there remains a sprinkling of more senior figures to offer support.

“I’m lucky that Ed’s still around and he’s been very influential in my career,” he said. “I’ll look to both Ed and some of the other senior players like Tom Cox and Joe Leach, and there’s also Trevor Sheperd in his role as cricket manager.”

Shrewsbury, Birmingham League champions in 2010 and National KO winners the following year, are keen to improve on last season when only a late revival enabled them to finish in the top half of the table.

“We finished sixth in the end which made it an acceptable season,” noted Foster. “We just want to improve on that. When we play well, we’re as a good as anyone.

“There were times last season when it was a bit frustrating and we didn’t play to our full potential. I just want us to do ourselves justice.”

Shrewsbury have snapped up big hitting Shropshire wicketkeeper batsman Anthony Parker from Shifnal, effectively to replace popular South African Ryan Bishop who will not be returning this year.

But Foster does not anticipate any more changes to his talented first team squad.

“I don’t think we’ll be actively recruiting for anyone else,” he said. “When everyone’s available it’s quite hard to pick a first team.

“If you jot down our squad it looks pretty strong.

“A couple of the younger players like Henry Blofield and Tom Ellis will also be added to the first team mix this year.”

It’s not only the first team captaincy which has changed hands at Shrewsbury for there are also new skippers for the club’s second and third teams.

Chris Sheperd, the former Wellington batsman, is now in charge of the 2nd XI as Mike Pym is now working in London while
Steve Carless has taken over as 3rd XI captain once again, succeeding Doug Reynolds in the role.

Shrewsbury begin pre-season nets at Shrewsbury School on Sunday, January 20.

Elliot Green

Green lands MCCC Cricketer of the Year gong

By Stuart Dunn, @studunn21, at The Shrewsbury Chronicle

TALENTED Shrewsbury leg spinner Elliot Green has been named as the top club cricketer in the Midlands for 2012.

Green, 21, is one of the youngest players to have been selected as winner of the prestigious Midlands Club Cricket Conference’s Cricketer of the Year accolade.

It’s more impressive recognition for Shrewsbury following 17-year-old Ed Barnard’s call up to the England under-19 squad to tour South Africa later this month.

“I’m really pleased and I didn’t even have a clue that I had been nominated,” said Green, who lives in Bayton Hill and is currently studying sports and exercise science at Wrexham’s Glyndŵr University.

“A few of the better players at the club down the years have won this award before so it’s nice to add my name to that list.

“I’m now looking forward to the new season. It will be interesting with Rob Foster taking over as captain but Shrewsbury’s a brilliant club with a great bunch of lads.”

Green, a right arm leg spinner and lower order batsman, took 45 Birmingham League premier division wickets at an average of under 17 for Shrewsbury last season. He helped them end the season strongly and also win the Graham Williamson Trophy once again.

Green lists Australian great Terry Jenner – who coached him Down Under in two separate stints – as his biggest influence and he also claimed 12 Minor Counties wickets for Shropshire at 16.5 apiece during the 2012 season.

Green follows in the footsteps of some leading Shrewsbury players who have won the award in the past.

Both Ed Foster and his dad John, both former captains of Shrewsbury and Shropshire, received the trophy, as did another London Road stalwart Steve Gale, now a leading first class umpire, and Richard Tudor.

Green will be presented with his trophy at the Conference’s annual dinner and awards ceremony in Birmingham in March.

Green joined Shrewsbury CC at the age of 12 and emerged from the junior ranks to make his first team debut at 15.

He has since held down a regular spot and memorably took nine wickets to set up a dramatic final day win at Kidderminster as Shrewsbury were crowned Birmingham League champions for the first time in 2010. He was also part of the side which won the National KO the following year.

“Elliot’s done very well and it’s a big honour for him, particularly for someone so young, ” said Ed Foster, his captain for club and county in recent seasons. “It essentially means he’s been picked as the best player for last season in the Midlands.

“It’s not just the Birmingham League as it’s also open to players from leagues as far afield as the likes of Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.

“Elliot could really have won it any any time over the last few years and I don’t think this will be the last award he wins.

“He’s a very important player for Shrewsbury and hopefully he can help the club to more success.”