Long-serving West Ender Ben Heap is hungry to create his own legacy at Liverpool Road after taking over the captaincy from stalwart Charlie Cottam.
The 28-year-old’s predecessor guided the club to five trophies in over a decade of service with three Lancashire League titles, a Worsley Cup and a Twenty20 trophy.
The former Padiham Cricket Club professional, who enjoyed a spell at the Arbories in the Ribblesdale Cricket League in 2015, said that it was a privilege to be handed the responsibility of skipper at Lowerhouse.
“I’ve done a couple of games standing in when Charlie Cottam wasn’t available,” said Heap, who made his first XI debut in 2003. “But this is my first official season as captain. I’m looking forward to it and I’m ready to get going.
“I’ve had one year away as pro but I’ve been here since I was 10. I’ve got strong family links here so it’s all that I’ve ever known.
“It means a lot and I feel very privileged. I was quite emotional when I first found out. It’s a big deal to me and something that I’ve always wanted to do.
“Charlie Cottam has done a fantastic job, and what he’s done in that time will take some beating. I’m delighted to get this opportunity and hungry to create my own legacy.”
Lowerhouse have lost Jamie Woodall and Josh Lavin but Nelson all-rounder Toxy Hussain, a record-breaking amateur at Seedhill, has joined, along with Rawtenstall’s Dean Barlow and Padiham’s Curtis Meehan.
“We want to compete in every competition and take them all seriously,” said Heap. “We’re in four competitions and want to progress as far as we can.
“There’s no rush for perfection because it’s a new regime and these things take time, but eventually we want to be challenging for and winning trophies.”
South African professional Ockert Erasmus, who has represented both Accrington and East Lancs, will hope to spearhead a successful spell at the club.
Having acquired the 29-year-old’s services, Heap said: “He’s vastly experienced in our league, with six Lancashire League campaigns behind him.
“He’ll bring some control with the ball against the better players, and with the bat I feel he is a perfect fit for us.
“His batting is sometimes underestimated. We’ve been screaming out for someone in the middle order to bat around our amateurs.”