Anglian Cricket Club hoping to secure their future

Anglians pictured at the Challenge Cup final last year.

Anglians pictured at the Challenge Cup final last year. - Credit: Archant

A well-established Norfolk Sunday side are hoping to attract new players to avert the threat of having to fold after 64 years in existence.

Anglian Cricket Club, who play their home games at Sprowston, have suffered a spate of player departures and were forced to call an emergency meeting when only three members turned up for their AGM.

A slightly improved attendance at the EGM encouraged club officials to continue making plans for this season – but they are still in desperate need of new blood.

Secretary Trevor Ford, whose family have been involved with Anglians since the late 1950s, said club officials had vowed to do everything in their power to stay afloat: 'We are only a one team, Sunday afternoon club so we don't get vast numbers of people turning up to our meetings, but in terms of playing strength we need 11 or 12 regulars and then two or three who can help out when we are short,' he said.

'At the moment we are down to seven regulars. There are a number of reasons for that – a couple of guys have finished playing and Shaun Roberts, who played regularly for us, has emigrated to New Zealand. He was also a useful pathway to finding players at short notice through his club, Acle, but they are entering a Sunday league side this season so we might no longer have that option.

'All of our current players have been tasked with finding new players and messages have gone out on Twitter to generate some interest.'

The Twitter plea sparked responses from as far afield as Nottingham and York and Ford added: 'I was amazed. We had people sending us messages from all over the country. It was very heartening – it might not necessarily directly bring new players in but it generates interest in the club and that could lead to new people joining.

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'It is nice to have support from clubs around us and I realise that we are not the only club who are suffering from a lack of players.'

Anglian finished third in the Mid Norfolk Sunday League Shield Premier Division last season and as recently as 2008 they did the double of being crowned league champions and winning the Challenge Cup. They also reached the final of the Challenge Cup last season.

Ford's father and former Anglians player, Jack, and his mother, Barbara, both also held the position of club secretary and his son, Oliver, is now the club captain. He admits it would be a huge personal disappointment to see the club fold: 'There is a big family involvement and of course I want to see it carry on,' he said. 'I don't have a problem with the hard work and the organising side of things, but when you start to struggle to get 11 players it becomes difficult.

'In all the years I have been at the club we have never failed to put a side out and to fulfil our fixtures. That is one of my biggest fears and it would be a real shame if we had to call games off – it is a matter of pride and I don't want the club's reputation to be tarnished. We will fight as hard as we can.'

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