Carrickfergus Cricket Club's 2010 season gets underway at the weekend when the 1st XI travels south for two pre-season friendlies. On Saturday 17th they face Leinster CC at Rathmines in Dublin, while on Sunday 18th they move to north County Dublin to play Rush CC. Their first league match will be on the following Saturday 24th when they travel to Waringstown for a tough opening fixture.
The Club has announced that Ross Gelderbloem, who had such a successful season in 2009, will return this season as their main overseas player. The popular South African was rated by Cricket Europe as the Northern Cricket Union's leading all rounder last season when he scored 750 runs and took 27 wickets, and the Club is delighted to welcome him back this year.
Two new signings, both Irish qualified, will be joining Ross at Middle Road. Michael Taiaroa is a highly rated young top order batsman from Hastings in the Hawke's Bay area of New Zealand. He has represented New Zealand at Under 19 level against a touring Indian Under 19 side, and scored 102 against an attack that included future Test players Ishant Sharma and Piyush Chawla. Mikey has made one first class appearance for Central Districts to date, and has previous UK experience when he played with great success in the Bolton and District Association in 2008. Daniel O'Shea is a very promising young left arm spinner from Melbourne. He plays regular 1st Grade cricket in Victoria where he has best figures of 5 for 44 which included the wicket of Australian Test player David Hussey. Danny represented Victoria at Under 19 level in the national championships in 2008/09 and was joint leading wicket taker for the state.
Ryan Eagleson will once again captain the Carrick side which will be hoping for an improvement on last year's mid-table finish in the Ulster Bank Premier League, and a decent run in at least one of the cup competitions. The remainder of his team will be along similar lines to last year with vice captain Andrew Cowden, Richard Stirling, Paul Stirling (when Ireland and Middlesex commitments allow) Michael Gilmour, Michael Turkington, Anthony Martin, Ally McCalmont and Alex Haggan forming the nucleus of the squad. Gone from last season are Zimbabwean professional Gavin Ewing, Matt Mangan who has returned to Australia, and Andrew Haire who has re-joined North Down, and the Club thanks them for their contribution. Meanwhile, it's all change for Carrick's other three XI's who have all appointed new captains for 2010. The 2nd XI will be led by South African all-rounder Rory Thompson who was a key member of the side last year. Experienced batsman Paul Graham takes over the 3rd XI, while all-rounder Rod Harrington will lead the 4th XI. Anyone wishing to join the Club will be made very welcome at the Indoor Nets which continue in Carrick Amphitheatre for the next two Thursdays at 8.30 pm, before moving outside at the Club's Middle Road headquarters.