CRICKET: Dorchester skipper Dan Belt setting sights on league glory

ONE AIM: Dan Belt

ONE AIM: Dan Belt

First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

DAN Belt has made Dorchester’s goal this summer abundantly clear – to return to the top flight of the Dorset League at the first time of asking.

The club’s first XI skipper believes the feel good factor is back at the county town outfit following his side’s relegation last year.

And now, with a couple of additions to the squad, Belt is targeting promotion to the newly-formed Premier League One.

Dorchester get their Premier League Two campaign up and running tomorrow with a trip to Shroton and, while they have lost the services of Sam Goodhew, Belt has three new faces in his ranks, including Australian all-rounder Eamonn Scott.

Belt admits he knows very little about Dorchester’s opening weekend opponents, but he does know what his players should be aiming for this term.

“The aim is to win the league and get back up as soon as possible,” he said. “And I have got faith in our players to do that.

“We were the only team to come down at the end of last season and I feel we are strong enough to win this league.

“It’s about enjoying our cricket. If we are enjoying games we are going to win, and we’ve got a great bunch of lads who all get on well.”

He continued: “It was a knock to the club to go down last year but at the same time it has given everyone that extra incentive to go back up.

“The lads have been really enthusiastic over the last four or five weeks and people behind the scenes are doing a lot for the club to get it back on the front foot.”

As well as Scott, Dorchester have also welcomed Simon Mitch-em and Fergus Guppy to the fold, both of whom can bat and bowl.

Experienced heads like vice-captain Pete Moxom and Sean Fitzgerald remain integral parts of Belt’s team, while it is hoped youngsters such as Will Caldwell and Marcus Evans can make a big impression in 2014.

“It’s looking good this year,” added Belt. “The youngsters are a year older, have a bit more experience, and hopefully they will step up to the plate.

“There are plenty of good players coming through and with the older heads the club is stronger now. But it’s going to be a new challenge for the lads as they are going to clubs they haven’t played before.

“The last time I went to Shroton’s ground was when I was 13 or 14 so I don’t really know much about them.”

Dorchester’s second XI get their Division Two season under way tomorrow at home to Portland Red Triangle, though the county town club will not field a third team this summer.

Dorchester: Belt (c), Moxom, Scott, Guppy, Dunham, Power, Fitzgerald, Caldwell, Foot, Morris, Mitchem

First XI ball sponsor: Colliton Club

Second XI ball sponsor: JW Scaffolding

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