Shelton, stung by the departure of three first team regulars, have received a timely boost as the new Proactive Shropshire Premier Cricket League season looms ever closer by signing a highly-rated young Australian allrounder.
The Shrewsbury-based club have agreed a deal with Rhett Williamson, from Perth, to act as their overseas player for the 2008 season after receiving a recommendation from Shrewsbury batsman Ed Foster, who has just joined Leicestershire.
It’s some welcome good news for Shelton as they look to rebuild following a string of notable departures.
Shelton were already resigned to being without seamer Chris Speake after he opted to return to Reman Services. But they have now also lost key duo Eugene McCarney, last year’s skipper, and Shaun Davis, with the allrounder opting to return to lower league Frankton after just a season playing at the higher level.
Jim Cadwallader, a second team stalwart for Shelton, has also moved on to Cound.
“We’re delighted to have got Rhett,” said Shelton chairman Gareth Cadwallader. “He’s a leg spinner and top order batsman who has been put forward to us by Ed Foster who’s currently playing in Perth.
“We had a couple of options to pursue but I’m happy that we’ve got everything sorted out with Rhett.”
Cadwallader admitted it was a blow to lose three first team regulars but insisted Shelton’s future remains bright.
“I could understand Chris Speake going to Reman as he’s returned to where he started and wants to finish his career there,” said Cadwallader, who does not know where McCarney plans to play his cricket this year.
“When Eugene resigned as captain he assured us he was going to be playing (for Shelton), but then I had an email from him last week saying he was leaving.
“But we’re still very positive for the season ahead. Neil Salisbury, our best player, has taken over as captain, with Andy Wigginton as vice-captain and they both have a lot of experience.
“We’ve also got a lot of good young lads coming through like Sam Griffiths, Ben Mathews, Ishan Radotra and Mark Davies.”