East leads Copdock to promised land
PUBLISHED: 13:24 06 July 2001 | UPDATED: 10:18 03 March 2010
CRICKET: AT the age of 22, John East is proving to be a successful captain of Hargreaves Two Counties Championship First Division Copdock and Old Ipswichians.
He has tasted defeat just once since taking over the reins at the club's winter annual general meeting - and wants to lead Copdock into the East Anglian Premier League next season.
AT the age of 22, John East is proving to be a successful captain of Hargreaves Two Counties Championship First Division Copdock and Old Ipswichians.
He has tasted defeat just once since taking over the reins at the club's winter annual general meeting – and wants to lead Copdock into the East Anglian Premier League next season.
The son of Copdock chairman and former Essex and Suffolk spin bowler Ray, John says that his job has been easier this year because of the availability of more players.
"Andy Burch gave up the captain's job because he was fed up with struggling to get a full side," explained the spin bowler, whose elder brother James is a prominent allrounder in the Copdock side.
"We were often short of personnel last season and the second team also suffered. But since I took over I have not experienced a problem.
"Players have made themselves available more and now that the school holidays are virtually here numbers will increase even more.
"Being a year older and with a more settled side we have managed to put some good results together although I am still disappointed at losing our one match to Braintree.
"But to be fair they looked a good side, and so did Frinton last week who we only just managed to beat."
John admits that he has been lucky with the toss as his team has only batted second on one occasion – when they narrowly beat Tattingstone on the first day of the season.
The return fixtures start tomorrow (SAT) and Copdock will be without Suffolk player James East for the local derby against Tattingstone as he is working.
"James has to work one Saturday in four, but we have Tim Gregory back and he has been scoring runs this year," added John, who says his plan is to bat first if possible and then bowl tightly for ten overs or so to gain control of the game.
Looking ahead to what could well be a close three-horse race to the championship, John said: "Without being rude to Exning they have depended this year on Suffolk batsman Matt Catley. Now that his brother Tim is back playing after his knee operation they will become more of a force.
"Browns bat all the way down and have strength in depth and they have the capabilities to maintain their challenge to the end."
Will Copdock apply for promotion to the EAPL if they finish top? "When the new league was formed we did not apply as we did not think we were ready," explained John.
"Personally I would like to play at the highest level possible but it would have to be a committee decision. We have the facilities at Copdock and if we win the title we will have the players.
"Rick Jones has worked so hard on the wicket and ground and Copdock is a lovely place to play cricket – far and away my favourite."