Leyland's player development is something to be proud of, says skipper David Makinson
Leyland captain David Makinson insisted his club should be proud of players going on to bigger and better things even if it does leave their own squad depleted.
The men from Fox Lane opened up the new Northern League Division One season with a defeat to Garstang at home, and they travel to Longridge this weekend.
In the starting XI, were a number of young and inexperienced players such as Ben Weaver, Joe Shackleton and Joe Wallwork-Woods.
They have been given their opportunity after the departure of players such as Nathan McDonnell and Ross Bretherton, who have taken up positions as paid players at other clubs.
While disappointed to lose key men such, Makinson insisted that he took great pride in seeing players progress their careers.
Indeed, the youth set-up at the Stanning Memorial Ground can boast a long list of players who have gone on to elite level and played county cricket. And he sees no reason why the conveyor belt cannot keep rolling as the club continues to blood young talent in its first team.
“We can almost pick a team of former players who are now getting paid for playing cricket,” said Makinson, who himself is a former Lancashire bowler.
“We have got three players playing county cricket.
“Luis Reece was at Lancashire and is now at Derbyshire. Liam Hurt (pictured) was at Leicestershire and is now at Lancashire and Danny Lamb is at Lancashire.
“Ross Bretherton has gone pro-ing and Nathan McDonnell is getting paid for playing.
“Sam Oldham is now at Formby in the Liverpool Competition. He’s done well there, so I am pretty sure he will be picking up a bob or two.
“They are our lads and it’s great that they move on, although it can be frustrating when you think how strong we were. People progress though and if they want to pick up a bit of money and test themselves in other leagues, that’s great. If you can get to county level then that’s something you can’t begrudge – we as a club are proud of that.
“What it does is gives us an opportunity to blood other young players and from what we have seen in practice, they are good enough.
“It’s a big thing for them going out in the middle and playing against some good players, but I have every confidence in them. They just need that experience and I remember when I was their age, I wanted to get out there and test myself.”