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.