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Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King looks to new season with renewed optimism

Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King.
Stoneywood-Dyce captain Jamie King.

Stoneywood Dyce struggled through the last cricket season, scraping together enough wins in difficult circumstances to stay up.

But with the new Eastern Premier campaign due to begin tomorrow against Forfarshire, captain Jamie King feels the club is in its best shape for nearly 10 years.

Buoyed by some new recruits and old faces committing to the cause again, King is optimistic Stoneywood Dyce can chase loftier ceilings than they have in recent years.

Long-serving player-coach Jan Stander will be available for more games this season, as will new vice-captain Lennard Bester.

Jon Grant and George Ninan, whose experience proved vital last year, will also be back in 2022.

Stoneywood Dyce player-coach Jan Stander.
Stoneywood Dyce player-coach Jan Stander will return for another season.

The new season has also seen the People’s Park side able to bring in overseas players for the first time in three years.

South African Garreth Wolmarans, who was with the team in 2019, is back and he hit an unbeaten 85 in the pre-season win over Clydesdale last weekend.

Joining him is fellow countryman Du Preez Stander – a relative of Jan – who picked up five-for-60 with the ball during the same game.

They have also added talented youngster Nathan Elliott from neighbours Aberdeenshire and all three are likely to be involved this weekend.

“We’re able to get three teams out this weekend which is something we didn’t do once last season,” said King. “It’s the best place we have been in for a long time, at least the last 10 years.

Garreth Wolmarans during his previous spell with Stoneywood Dyce in 2019
Garreth Wolmarans during his previous spell with Stoneywood Dyce in 2019.

“We have got competition for places and selection headaches. It’s probably the most confident and excited I have been going into a season.

“It’s credit to everyone at the club that we kept ourselves up last season. It was a tough year for everyone and I don’t think we were alone in struggling for players.

“But it’s given us the platform to play National League cricket again this year.”

Strike-bowler David Kidd is their only absentee for this weekend, with the seamer managing a fitness issue that is likely to see him play for the seconds to build match-fitness.

“We have got a very fluid line-up,” added King. “Out of the 11 players, we’ve got eight bowlers that are first-team quality.

“I can chuck the ball to any of them and have faith they’re going to deliver. That’s not a position I’ve been in as captain before.”

King feels their fortunes last season may cloud the judgement of some when it comes to Stoneywood Dyce’s prospects this season. But that is not a bad position to be in.

Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King
Stoneywood Dyce captain Jamie King.

“Most clubs would probably expect us to be near the bottom again and may under-estimate us,” said King. “The team we’re going to put out is very different to last year and that’s nothing against the guys that gave their all to keep the team in the league.

“A successful season would be finishing as close to the top as possible. The playing field may level out a bit as the Scotland players, who dominated the league last year, are only available for a handful of games this year.

“We’re in a privileged position with no pressure on us. Everyone just expects us to survive. I want to win as many games as possible and see how close we can get to the top.”


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