HELENSBURGH Cricket Club has appointed the youngest captain in the club’s history as preparations gather pace for their 2019 campaign.

Burgh’s league campaign in the Western District Cricket Union’s first division begins on May 4 with a trip to Dumfries to take on a St Michael’s side who won the Second Division championship in 2018 after winning all but one of their 17 matches.

Helensburgh, by contrast, ended last year third from bottom of the first division standings – but young skipper Gregor Chambers says he and his team-mates are feeling confident ahead of the new season.

Chambers told the Advertiser: “The mood is buoyant and the club are looking forward to the season ahead and especially to welcoming Darren Butler from South Africa and Jarryd Clancy from Australia as our overseas players for the season.

“Although I think they’ll find the conditions very different to what they are used to back home, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it over here and will be given a great welcome by the members.”

After their trip to Dumfries, Helensburgh’s first home fixture is on May 11, when they welcome Ayr to Ardencaple.

Helensburgh’s second XI begin their 2019 campaign in the WDCU’s third division away to Marress on April 27 before facing GHK Strathclyde at Ardencaple the following week.

Chambers added: “The second XI set up looks to be in great shape as well, with a good number of the juniors set to break through into senior cricket this season.

“Add to that the Sunday development side, a more social form of cricket, and there will be plenty of senior cricket available for all standards.”

Otheroffice bearers for the 2019 season are Alex Todd (chairman), Calum Thornton (1st XI vice-captain), Scott McLachlan (2nd XI captain), Cameron White (midweek captain), Cameron Caskie (Sunday captain, secretary and treasurer) and Graeme Lang (joint grounds convener with Alex Todd).

Meanwhile, Helensburgh can also boast a very promising under-14 team, and in May will be running the ECB’s All Stars cricket programme for boys and girls between five and eight years old.

The All Stars programme is delivered at more than 2,000 clubs and sports facilities across the UK and features eight one-hour sessions held over an eight-week period.

The emphasis of the programme is on having fun and being active, and the focus is on developing the movement skills of the sport’s youngest players.

Every child taking part receives a bonus backpack full of cricket goodies including a bat, ball, activity book, and personalised shirt and cap – and mums and dads are encouraged to take part too.

Helensburgh chairman Alex Todd said: “The All Stars initiative looks really exciting and I am delighted we’re offering something for even the youngest players.

“Cricket’s a great game and the more youngsters and families we can include, the better.”

Details and registration information are at www.allstarscricket.co.uk.

As always the Club will be delighted to welcome new members of all ages in 2019 – there is a suitable level for everyone, so if you’re interested, please get in touch with the club via their website (www.helensburghcc.co.uk).