Laurelvale captain David Sinton is confident close-season progress can result in club development on a widespread basis.
The continued commitment to youth coaching and extra focus on the promotion of ladies’ cricket has helped Laurelvale gain great strides across growth areas.
But Sinton is also convinced the competitive focus of the firsts, seconds and thirds can benefit from winter work.
“We now have an extended coaching team, with four ranked at Level Two and numerous members on Level One status,” said Sinton. “That can open up opportunities for us on a number of fronts.
“It means that we now have the necessary coaching support to work in small groups on certain areas that may need special focus.
“For example, we open the season this weekend at home to Templepatrick then visit Cook Collegians on Monday.
“Templepatrick were relegated so start as one of the title favourites.
“Cooke will come into Section Two having gained promotion last year, so carry that winning momentum.
“Both offer different tests and two games in quick succession can present a real chance for an early push.
“However, we want to take positives out of every performance, irrespective of the result.
“If something does not go our way we can now use practice to focus on getting it right, thanks to the extra coaching.
“There is a nice buzz around the club following the continued hard work of such a dedicated group, with the youth coaching and ladies’ development key parts of the overall picture.”
Sinton is keen to see Laurelvale strengthen youth links as a means of long-term player production.
“A few years back our under 15s won the title but few remain at the club,” said Sinton. “That is down to many reasons but the idea is to establish a more effective path up from youth cricket.
“It is not just about the firsts.
“Coaching options now mean we can take younger players into the more senior sides and give greater focus on individual work, rather than maybe a teenager stepping up and getting lost in the move.
“In terms of signings, former Portadown player John Haddock has come in and his background as wicketkeeper can help Philip Weir’s focus centre more on batting.”