Wimbledon warm-up for Norfolk’s men
With summer county cup on the horizon, the Norfolk men's team head to Wimbledon this Saturday to take on the All England Lawn Tennis Club in an invitational match.
The AELTC fixtures committee annually ask some of the top county sides to take on their men's first team and following the success of the Norfolk side in recent years, an invitation was extended last month.
Norfolk have almost their full current squad available, with the exceptions of Tom Lamming, Chris Parker and senior player Tom Spinks, whose wife is expected to give birth in the next few days.
Heading the line-up will be professional Richard Bloomfield, who has made his return from a back injury in recent weeks at a pair of domestic futures tournaments.
Bloomfield has competed at the Wimbledon Championships five times, including a third round appearance in the men's doubles and an opening round loss to former champion Lleyton Hewitt on court one in 2007.
Returning to the men's side for the first time since 2005 is James Auckland, who retired from the professional doubles circuit at the end of 2009.
Captain Barry Fulcher has led the team since summer 2009 and has been Norfolk's top rubber winner over the past 12 months. At summer county cup in 2010, Fulcher helped the team to Group Two survival with three wins on the last day despite a stress fracture in his rib.
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Former professional Nicky Crawley has been a key player in Norfolk's ascent to Group Two. Crawley has competed at junior Wimbledon in the past and lost to Marcos Baghdatis in 2002. Partnering Matt Green, the pair have won crucial final day rubbers at county week for the past three years. Jonathan Wynne returns from university in Sheffield to compete for Norfolk. The youngest member of the side has played at number one for Sheffield Hallam this term and has partnered brother Dan in recent campaigns.
Due to the time of year, the match will take place on the clay courts within the grounds.