Skipper eyes Swift return to Sussex second tier

Martyn Swift has challenged Worthing Cricket Club to return to the Sussex League Division 2 at the first time of asking this season.

Worthing skipper Martyn Swift. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Worthing skipper Martyn Swift. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Back-to-back relegations mean Worthing will ply their trade in the newly-formed Division 3 West in 2018.

Skipper Swift, 22, endured a frustrating opening season in the role - which ended with Worthing dropping out of the top-two leagues in Sussex for the first time in a number of years.

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A turbulent past two seasons for Worthing, who’ve won just six of their 38 league matches in that time, has seen them lose a number of key players in the close season.

Benn Challen, Jamie Piper and Josh Wood have all departed the Manor Ground over the winter but Swift hopes his new-look team can thrive in the season ahead.

He said: “The aim is promotion and getting back to Division 2 at the first time of asking.

“It’s been a difficult past couple of seasons but things have gone well over the winter and we are gelling as a team.

“Starting the season well, particularly given the way the past couple have gone, will be important.”

Worthing have added exciting young duo Fin Allen and Hamish Llewellyn, while Australian Cameron New will be their overseas this season.

A restructure will see teams from across the county all compete in the new Sussex League.

Worthing are joined in Division 3 West by near neighbours Findon, Goring and Steyning, with Swift seeing competiting against rivals as an added incentive.

He added: “We’ve assembled an exciting, young group of players for the season ahead. We’ll be playing a few teams we haven’t met in a while so it’s an exciting new step.”

Worthing will play the winner of Chichester Priory Park and Littlehampton as they get their season started with a Gray-Nicholls T20 Cup first-round encounter on Saturday.

Swift then leads Worthing in their first third tier Sussex League game for a number of years as they begin their Division 3 West campaign at home to Pagham.