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Celebrating Stour already have one eye on next year
1:00pm Thursday 20th September 2012 in Cricket
DELIGHTED Richard Bradley admits the planning for next year starts now after Stourbridge secured their second successive promotion.
The Amblecote side will play in Birmingham League Division Two next term after a dramatic final Saturday.
Stour’s 133-run win at Studley was enough to snatch second place in Division Three, as Aston Manor fell 12 runs short of victory against Bridgnorth.
Skipper Bradley and the club’s committee were poised to sit down last night to discuss plans for the next campaign.
And while they are determined to stick with the youth policy which has served them so well, Bradley admitted they would be looking for two or three new additions.
He said: “We are going to enjoy the success as much as we can but we are already looking to plan ahead.
“The focus will be on staying loyal to the players who have got us to where we are.
“Ideally we’d like to bring in two or three new faces just to add a bit of competition for places.
“One thing we don’t want to do is fall into the trap other teams have and end up paying three or four players big money. We won’t destabilise the dressing room with superstars but if there are players who want to join us we will look at it.”
First on the agenda is tying down the services of overseas star Audy Alexander and Bradley said he was “90 per cent sure” the West Indian would be returning.
Alexander capped a fine season with an unbeaten 121 on Saturday to help Stour post 244-6 at Studley.
The visiting bowlers then ripped through the home batting line up to bowl their opponents out for 111, Jitesh Patel taking 4-42.
But an Aston Manor win could have still scuppered their hopes and this lead to some nervous moments as final pair Arfan Khan and Michael Bromhall edged their side towards an improbable victory, before the latter was run out.
Bradley said: “By the time our game finished we knew they were nine down needing another 50 to win and we were pretty confident.
“Our scorer was talking to their scorer and it seemed with every phone call they were knocking off another 10 or 15 runs.
“It was agonising.
“But when we heard that the final wicket had gone the celebrations were pretty incredible.”