Leyland Cricket Club captain Dave Makinson has no plans on hanging up his bat anytime soon as the long-serving skipper returns from injury to lead the club’s quest for another Norther Premier League title.
Makinson has been out for a year and a half with a shoulder injury.
The long-serving Leyland captain has had several operations to fix a number or tears and a bone spur.
But the 58-year-old returned last month to skipper the side as Leyland enter the second half of the season top of the table.
And for Makinson, who has been involved in cricket in Leyland since 1978, it has been a frustrating time.
The skipper moved from Eccleston to Leyland in 1978.
He then took on the role as pro at Leyland Motors in the 1982-83 season before returning to Leyland in 1984, and signed on for Lancashire to 1988, earning county honours.
He returned to Leyland Motors in 1989 and was professional there until 1997.
Makinson was then ammeteur captain at Leyland Motors from 1997 to 2006 before Leyland Motors and Leyland merged in 2007.
And skipper Makinson is glad to be back on the pitch, as he says he is not far off returning to full fitness.
He said: “I’ve missed a year and a half but I’ve always been involved.
“I’ve never missed a game.
“I have been involved in a way, it is just not the same as being out on the pitch.
“I’ve been captain for a long time, so even though I’ve not been batting or bowling, I am involved in every ball of the game fielding.
“Not being able to do anything has been frustrating.
“But I hoped that I could get back and play and though I’m nowhere near 100% fit, I’m not far off now.””
Has he got more seasons left as skipper? He answered: “I’d like to think so if I can stay fit and not pick up any injuries.
“As you get older you pick up more injuries and they take longer to recover from so we will see...”
Makinson has batted since his return last month, but is yet to bowl.
And he says it is due to not being required: “Last weekend we bowled Longridge out for next to nothing.
“So I was not needed.
“On Saturday we just kept trying as many bowlers as possible to try and get them out.
“We used eight and I didn’t think I was needed again.” Leyland are top of the table and hoping for a double as they face T20 action this weekend.
And Makinson believes the key to his side’s rise to the top of the table is their strength in depth.
Something they proved in the victory over Barrow on Saturday.
What is the key?: “We have got a lot of experienced players coupled with some younger players.
“We are used to winning things and winning leagues.
“We have a lot of depth in batting and bowling.
“We showed that on Saturday.
“We used eight bowlers and it was the last three bowlers I used who took all of the wickets.
“They were not in my first five choices but because none of the first five were doing well we could call on the next three and they are the ones who won us the game.
“I don’t think any other team in the league can do that.
“We are just the same with the bat.
“We can bat really deep, everyone can bat.
“We are a good side if we have the right attitude and play to our potential.
“I think everyone will recognise that in the league.”
And for Makinson, the new Palace Shield side’s that gained promotion have enhanced the division.
He said: “I think the teams from the Palace Shield have added to it.
“Their enthusiasm, and they are used to winning trophies and titles.
“They have brought a winning mentality with them.
“Every team is a challenge. Barrow almost proved that on Saturday.
“They were beating us and they are bottom and we are top.
“There are no teams you go into now and think they are a certainty to win the league, as has been the case in the past.It is quite competitive this year.
“There are not many points separating the top six or seven. The league virtually changes week by week.
“We just need to make sure we keep winning and hope the others beat each other and hopefully there will be a bit of a gap soon.”
And Makinson says the closeness of the division was also shown in that game against relegation battling Barrow: “We batted quite well. It was a really quick outfield.
“It was hard and dry but it was turning quite a lot.
“We were happy with 230, we thought it was more than enough.
“But the way that Barrow set off they looked like they were going to beat us to be honest. They were scoring really quickly.
“The professional batted really well along with Toby Mowat.
“Really his dismissal changed the game.
“Will Jacques bowled him and then it was like the confidence drained out of them and we just wheedled our way through.”
“Once he was out we were never going to lose.”
Makinson hopes the club can finally fulfil their potential in the short form of the game by lifting the T20 trophy. Makinson will watch on as James Rounding leads the club’s quest to pip Garstang, Netherfield and Fleetwood to the title at finals day this weekend. Leyland face hosts Garstang for a shot in the final, after dumping holders Chorley out of the competition by winning their group. And Makinson is keen to add a new trophy to the cabinet: “We’ve been to finals day a couple of times but never won it. I don’t play in it but James Rounding will be captain. It is too fast for me these days! It would be good to get another trophy and we have never really played to our potential in Twenty20 so it is about time we did something.”