THE future is bright for a long-established local cricket club.
New Longton CC, which is based in Chapel Lane, has been in existence since the early part of the 20th century.
But over the last three years, the club has transformed itself off the pitch and is aiming to rediscover past form on the pitch.
Fantastic new facilities and team expansion means New Longton is one of the area’s strongest village-based clubs.
A member of the Moore and Smalley Palace Shield, the club boasts three senior teams.
Formerly in the Premier Division, the first team suffered relegation to the Second Division last summer but is hoping to bounce straight back this year.
It’s second-string plies its trade in the Third Division, while the thirds are in the Sixth Division.
The club also has a Sunday team, which is a member of the West Lancashire Sunday League and last season won promotion to the First Division. While there is potential for the senior members of New Longton to enjoy glory this summer, longer term the club is set up for a prosperous future.
Unlike many other clubs, the junior section at New Longton is thriving and now boasts five junior teams. Many youngsters are attracted to the club because of its impressive new facilities at Chapel Lane.
In the past three years, it has invested more than £45,000, thanks to grants from Lancashire County Council, South Ribble Borough Council, Longton Parish Council, Sport England and the England Cricket Board.
Recent improvements include a new playing square, all weather training nets, junior training equipment, Test match quality’ lightweight mobile covers and new grounds maintenance equipment.
The club has also agreed a sponsorship deal with Dewhurst Homes. Chairman Chris Mather said: “We are England Cricket Board Clubmark accredited in recognition of our work with juniors.
“Junior cricket is key to our future and we are working hard to give local children something to do by providing them with an opportunity to play cricket in a safe, disciplined and friendly sporting environment.
“We are recognised by Lancashire County Cricket Club as a club which is on the way up and that is extremely pleasing as many clubs in the area are reducing the number of their junior and senior teams.”