New skipper Attfield eyes title challenge

Sam Attfield is Horsham's new captain
Sam Attfield is Horsham's new captain

New Horsham Cricket captain Sam Attfield already has his sights firmly set on delivering the club a first league title for a decade.

The middle order batsman will take over from Craig Gallagher, who has stepped down from the role after three successful years in charge.

JPCT-03-09-11 SC11360140a   CRICKET: Horsham v Hastings. Sam Attfield   -photo by steve cobb

JPCT-03-09-11 SC11360140a CRICKET: Horsham v Hastings. Sam Attfield -photo by steve cobb

Under Gallagher the side came agonisingly close to winning the Premier League crown when, going into the final match they led the way by 18 points, only to lose to Hastings, who consequently snatched the title.

When Attfield leads the team out next summer it will be exactly ten years since Horsham last won the Premier Division in 2004, and he said: “Boony (Gallagher) has done really well as captain, under him the side finished second twice and third once.

“I know there’s a tough challenge ahead just matching that, but I’m really hoping we can go one better and win the league, if not next year then the year after.

“I really think we have the squad to do it, so it’s a case of getting everyone committed and playing their best cricket to go that extra step.”

The 27-year-old right-hander has been an integral part of the side over the last few years having made his first team debut in 2000, and like his predecessor came through the colts.

“I’m very pleased to have taken on the role,” Attfield said. “I know how hard Craig worked and understand it will be a tough road, but I’ve captained the side before and with the likes of Boon and Michael Munday around there’ll be plenty of experience to help me out.”

Backing his replacement to be a success and vowing to continue playing, Gallagher said: “Sam’s been my vice captain throughout my time so he was the natural choice and I’m sure he’ll do a good job.

“He’s got the respect of the players, has a very sensible head on his shoulders and has been in the side for five or six years so knows his way around, it’s a great choice.”

Gallagher, the last of the National Knock-Out Cup winning side of 2005, has been made a vice president.

And reflecting on his time leading the side he added: “Throwing away the title in my first year as captain having gone into the final match leading by 18 points will probably dog me forever.

“But it’s been a great honour to captain the team and when I look back I’ll be happy with the consistency we showed and winning the cup as well.

“We came very close to winning the league but we’ll have a couple of lads returning from Uni so who knows, next season could be ours.”

And Horsham chairman John Carter added: “He’s (Attfield) a very competent batsman and in my view the best is still to come from him, the captaincy could be the making of him.”