GOATACRE captain Brad Dawson has branded Ed Kilbee’s return to his local side for the 2014 season as “massive” for the village club.
Kilbee moved to Cannock in the Birmingham League for the second half of the 2013 campaign, tempted by a lucrative pay-as-you-score offer, but is back with Goatacre this year as they prepare for another assault on West of England Premier League Premier Two.
After a summer accumulating runs in grade one and grade two cricket Down Under, where the stylish left-hander played for Subiaco Floreat in Perth, where he averaged 37 in 17 innings with a top score of 72, Kilbee flew back to England at the turn of the month and Dawson is expecting him to shine for Goatacre over the coming weeks.
He told the Advertiser: “Kilbee’s back, which is massive for us. It’s crazy how it works because we won every game without him last year. I think it just clicked and happened but he’s back, which is good.
“He’s had a good time in Australia. He’s played first and second grade, which is really good.
“He’s looking to do the county stuff again and he’s switched on again for Wiltshire. I think he could do quite well again. Hopefully he stays with us for the summer because it obviously makes a massive difference.
“He said he likes playing with his mates as well, which is good. He said the standard at Cannock was up there and most teams would have a pro or overseas who were decent but I think he’s going to enjoy it with us.”
Goatacre’s revolving door has been pretty much stationary all summer, with Dawson missing out on an unnamed player from Cheltenham while losing no one during the off-season.
Veterans Kevin Iles and Craig Gibbens return for yet another season, while Giorgio Rigali returned from Australia last week and will feature prominently again this term.