** ALFONSO THOMAS SIGNS WITH EXETER **by Pat Steward
The good news stories about Exeter CC just keep getting better. This week Exeter CC has confirmed that Alfonso Thomas has joined the club as their player-coach for 2016 and probably longer.
Having secured almost £1Million worth of investment into the Club, in the form of a new pavilion, new nets and new ground equipment – as a result of development on a small part of the ground – this signing gives Exeter a huge boost on the playing side.
Alfonso, who is the 4th highest T20 wicket taker of all time, with 263 wickets, retired from first class cricket last year. He played for eight years with Somerset, has taken more than a 1000 wickets and scored more than 5000 runs across all formats of the game.
Alfonso will play every week for Exeter CC, as well as leading the senior and junior coaching at the club. The Club will also provide a base for him to establish his coaching academy, linking in to local schools and clubs.
Exeter CC players have good links with Somerset CC, through players such as Alex Barrow, Ben Green (England U19), Dom Bess and Tom Lammonby.
Alfonso Thomas said: “I am delighted to be joining Exeter CC as a player and coach. I have already been impressed by the ambition of the club and the facilities it has. I can’t imagine not playing cricket and the chance of playing a bit and coaching a lot really appeals to me. I’m looking forward to playing some good cricket and helping other players develop their game.”
Julian Smith, former 1st team captain and now chairman at Exeter CC, said “This opportunity was too good to miss. Having met Alfonso it was very clear that, as player-coach, he can offer a huge amount to the club and all its players. At the same time, the club can provide him with a good base to work from and great contacts across Exeter and Devon. What really sealed the deal was Alfonso’s desire to think beyond one season. What he wants to achieve over the next few years has real synergy with the Club’s ambitions.”
Miles Lenygon, 1st team skipper, said “This is a fantastic signing for us - in so many ways. Exeter has, for many years, been committed to bringing young players on. The likes of Ben Green and Tom Lammonby are good evidence of that, having played nearly all their cricket at the club. Alfonso will not only help us improve young cricketers, such as George Greenway (Deaf Enfland) but will also add real playing strength to our 1st team.”
Exeter CC has, over the years, included players such as Giles White (Somerset CC, Hants CC and Hampshire’s Head Coach), Chris Rogers (Australia and Somerset CC) and Aaron Redmond (Otago CC and New Zealand).
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