AFTER five years at the helm, Joe Perkins has relinquished the captaincy of Nationwide House ahead of the 2014 West of England Premier League Wiltshire Division campaign.

Perkins, who has done a remarkable job with limited resources at the “works club”, has led Nationwide to several seasons of midtable stability prior to a difficult 2013 season where the team’s location helped them stay in the division.

Though Perkins has decided to continue playing, he has opted to hand the responsibilities of being skipper over to Russell Arkley, with David Coates stepping in as vice-captain.

Coates said: “After five years of being club captain and experiencing the ups and downs of leading the Nationwide House first XI, Joe Perkins has decided to step down and let the youth of the club take us forward.

“Last year was obviously a very tough season, even though we had the high of inflicting Swindon’s only defeat of the season, but Joe has helped the club take massive strides forward, competing in the WEPL, and his commitment to captaincy will certainly be missed. “Russ Arkley will take charge once he returns from injury, with myself as his vice taking charge at home to Devizes for the opening game of the season. “Surviving relegation last year has given us the hunger to improve this season, with a lot of work going on over the winter, including a couple of exciting new recruits, and we’re confident a new approach to both off and on field activities will stand us in good stead as we enter a new, exciting phase for the club.”