Our 1st XI Captain's Message

Name: Sam Smart

Role: 1st XI Captain

Years at ESTCC: Joined in the 2009 season

About me

I have lived in Earl Shilton for most of my life and have played cricket since the age of 7.

My time at Earl Shilton Town Cricket Club

I have played for the club for several years on and off and have a lot to be thankful for. My earliest memory of cricket is time spent at club with my brother and a few of his friends playing in the old outdoor nets.

I have a lot to be grateful for when it comes to cricket, like travelling the world to India, Dubai and Australia. I have represented Leicestershire, Warwickshire, and Worcestershire Counties from Under 10’s age group through to Academy level. Over my time playing cricket, I have been fortunate enough to captain several teams and will use that experience in my new role for the club.

I am encouraged that having taken on the 1st Team Captaincy role for 2021, that most of the players I played with when I was younger are still at the club, which has created a great bond between us and gives us a great base to work from going into any season.

Looking ahead to 2021 and beyond

With our club ethos of being ‘one club’, I am pleased to be working closely with people like Pete Shaw (Director of Cricket),Mick Coe (Chairman),Matt Robins (2nd Team Captain) and other senior players to drive the club forward.

We have exciting plans across all areas of the club, but my personal goal for the players and myself over the next few seasons is simple, which is to return to the Premier league where we belong as soon as possible. We have real focus and a clear goal on how we are going to achieve this and a team with the ability to deliver.

This will not happen overnight, but with the help of our players, and the growth of the Academy section over the next few years, we certainly have the potential to achieve our goal. Unfortunately, we have had a few difficult seasons recently, but we should be excited for the challenge ahead. Within this time, it would be great for our 1st and 2nd teams to win some trophies, which is something that has again lacked over previous seasons.

My main aim, win lose, or draw is for us all to enjoy our cricket, I believe that playing with friends and family is a real positive and can help win games. The mentality throughout the club is something that I have not seen in my playing time at any other club, with pretty much everyone having a role to do. As a club with a great history and reputation, it is great to see more and more people getting involved, from seeing new faces at Academy level to the familiar old faces on a Saturday morning when entering the changing room. We aim to make cricket enjoyable for everyone and anyone who wants to play!

Off the field, we have a strong committee that all have dedicated roles, and can be trusted to do a brilliant job, but on the field the players and myself all have roles to do as well. Fortunately, I am taking on the captaincy at a time when most of our players know what roles they have and are ready use to them, but we still have a lot of work to do. I will certainly be encouraging the players to do their best and work together as a team.

I am looking forward to the challenge of leading the players and particularly working with senior players such as Phil Crouch, Kyle Chamberlain, and Tom Verow, who I have played with over the past few years and are known all around the Leicestershire cricket league.

Anyone that knows me will be aware that I am very approachable, and I do not want that to change. If you are a player, a parent of the club, or someone looking to join the club, I will always make time to chat with you. We encourage everyone to visit the club including children and family members to watch and get involved, as this is a great way to get people interested in cricket.