PAUL Starke will lead Cradley into the defence of their National League title.

Starke, from Malvern, was a big hit in his first season with the club last year and he takes over from Ashley Morris, who is no longer available for National League racing.

He admits Morris will be a hard act to follow – but he’s excited by the challenge.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted to get the chance to be captain this year, and it’s a real honour.

“As a club we had a great season in 2013, so I have big shoes to fill, but if I can take over the role Ashley (Morris) did then I’ll be chuffed.

“Last year we had an incredible year, so to try to emulate what we did is going to be a real challenge.

“But we look like we have a strong team, and we have a few riders who could make big strides in the sport at the moment.

“Personally I’ll be looking to just help as much as I can as captain and try to score as many points as possible at No.1 to take some pressure off the lower order.

“It’s nice to have some people pushing me in the team as well, with Steve Worrall and Tom Perry both capable of challenging for the No.1 race jacket as well. I want to be at No.1 all season so I’ll have to be on the top of my game.”