All-rounder Mark Thomas has completed a remarkable family hat-trick by being named as the new captain of Swardeston.
Thomas follows in the footsteps of his father Peter and uncle David in being handed the reins of the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League club.
The 28-year-old was elected skipper at the club’s annual meeting in December and at the time last summer’s captain Carl Rogers was voted in as his deputy for the 2005 campaign. Since then Rogers has left Swardeston to join Great Witchingham and Thomas has picked Ian Tufts to be his vice-captain.
However Thomas, who took 36 wickets in last year’s EAPL campaign, will not only have to do without Rogers but also without Norfolk batsman James Walker, who has joined Horsford after hardly playing at all last year.
Despite this Thomas is looking forward to the challenge. He said: “I’m thrilled that the members have backed me to lead the club. We are disappointed to lose Carl and Jimmy but wish them well. “Ian and I are very positive about this year. We will have a young side and will look to consolidate our postion in the EAPL. But if we get a good start who knows?”
Thomas’ biggest loss however is facing taking the field without the services of uncle David who has decided to finish his top-flight playing career to concentrate on playing golf and cricket occasionally.
Swardeston’s first team this year will be bolstered by the arrival of former Zimbabwe international cricketer Richard Sims, who has a UK visa, and New Zealander Jaden Hatwell who makes the step up from the club’s Howes Percival Norfolk Alliance premier division team.
Thomas said: “I am delighted I will be able to call on both Richard and Jaden this summer. They are both great additions to the team. Also, former Leicestershire and Norfolk spinner George Walker will be available for most of the season once his commitments with Loughborough University have ended.”
The club has also signed Jaden’s brother Brook, who played at Downham last year, to replace him in the Alliance team. Darin Goodrum and Kieron Tuck have also both signed from Cromer.