THE future of Weymouth Cricket Club looks set to be a bright one as the youth section continues to flourish.

At the club’s youth AGM, it was agreed that there needs to be more investment in developing and coaching young players to ensure the club gets back to the top of Dorset cricket.

Funding has now been approved for investment in new coaching equipment, playing equipment and kit.

There will also be team shirts and hats available to players at reduced cost and, when players take out club membership, they will be given free insurance and a playing cap as a minimum.

It was also agreed that a new club website will be set up with a dedicated youth page, and this will tie in with a new Facebook page and Twitter account.

Overall, a much more focused and professional approach is to be used to develop young cricketers from the Weymouth area.

It is hoped that the many players currently living in Weymouth but who play their cricket out of the town will be encouraged back to play for their home side.

Four youth teams – the under-16s managed and coached by Gerald Marchant, under-13s managed by Mark Lovett, under-11s led by Andy Anderson and Pete Gordon, and a new under-9s team managed by Sai Maganti – are to run in the summer.

Hugh Lawes will continue to coach and oversee all the teams and for further information, telephone him on 07747011730.

Any new players will be welcomed.

At the start of the forthcoming season there will be an open day for anyone to try their hand at cricket and, together with regular evening coaching sessions and visits to schools, Weymouth youngsters will have plenty of time to develop their game.

The club already has more than 45 youth players but more are always welcome.

A club spokesman said: “Over the past season, the club has been pleased to see many boys progress, with a number now representing the West Dorset district sides and one or two being called into the full county teams.

“A real sign of improvement has been the remarkable turnaround shown by the under-14 team in the Osprey Indoor League, where they have gone from the side that lost every game last season to winning the league this year.

“This has been down to all the hard work and practice of the boys involved, and the dedication of coach Gerald Marchant.

“Captain Dom Webb led the side and played with great skill and authority, and the efforts of Joe James were a pleasure to watch.

“Tim Gilbraith, Ben Dring, Rowan Emery and Josh Bower all turned in memorable performances that enabled the boys to win every game.

“The team always showed good manners and courtesy, and played in the right spirit.

“It was also good to see the under-14 B team finish joint second in their league, while the under-12s were able to field two sides for the first time in the indoor league and both finished in respectable positions.”