STEVE BURDETT is targeting a record fourth successive Hunters York and District Senior Cricket League premier division title for Woodhouse Grange.
The skipper of the Sutton-on- Derwent-based club leads his men into another campaign when they host Dunnington in the President’s Trophy on Easter Sunday looking to make history this season.
No team has ever won the premier division four years in a row and Burdett’s men would equal the achievements of a former Woodhouse side, which won a quartet of titles in the old first division between 1994 and 1997.
The President’s Trophy, a 40-overs-a-side encounter, sees the league champions take on the cup winners and Burdett believes it is the perfect start as the teams warm up for the start of the league campaign a week later.
“You can have friendlies in pre-season but they don’t have that edge,” he said.
“The beauty of this game is that you are playing for a little bit of silverware and it’s a proper game that you want to win.
“It’s a great opener for the season.
“We’ve got a full 11 available. I am very fortunate that the squad I have are as committed as I am and are available week in and week out.
“It’s great to get some proper cricket under your belt and get a bit of batting and bowling practice.
“It’s a confidence booster and an opportunity for people to spend some time at the crease.
“It’s also great preparation for the National Village Cup as well because you have to use five bowlers.”
Burdett’s team will have several silverware aims this season, including the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy, which they reached the final of last year, and will also be eyeing a trip to Lord’s in the Village Cup.
But the Woodhouse captain puts one competition above all of them.
“The league to me is the most important thing,” Burdett explained.
“Over the duration of a season, it doesn’t lie and it is how you are measured. The Village Cup, and the Black Sheep Champions Trophy, are great but sometimes it is down to who is the best team on the day.
“It’s not easy to perform on every single day.
“There is the added impetus for us that we want to be the first side to win the premier division four times on the bounce.
“I was lucky enough to be involved in the side in themid-1990s which won the old first division four times and that was a record that hasn’t been equalled.
“It’s another team goal, and a personal one as well. It will be a very difficult thing to achieve.
“There are a lot of good sides out there. Everyone in the premier is capable of beating everyone else.
“The introduction of new sides, like Studley Royal, has spoken volumes as well.
“They had the better of us last year and will be trying to do the same again and then it is always difficult playing sides like Sheriff Hutton Bridge and Easingwold.
“It’s always a competitive league but it’s an enjoyable one.”