The assumption might be that this time of year is quiet, as the days shorten, but Premier League clubs in Yorkshire are busy signing new players for 2024.
Here is a selection of moves I’ve seen announced from clubs in the Premier Leagues. As usual, these are subject to the usual caveats of league paperwork, eligibility and visas.
Lee Goddard (New Farnley to Woodhouse Grange)
As high-profile signings go, this is a significant one for the Yorkshire Premier North League North outfit.
Lee has scored 5,308 runs and won plenty of trophies with New Farnley over nearly a decade in the Bradford League. (Here’s our past interview with him by Bill Marshall).
Woodhouse Grange finished 4th in the league in 2023 and have so far shared news of six signings.
For Premier League duty, they’ve snapped up Freddie Collins from Sheriff Hutton Bridge and hope he’ll prove a potent new-ball partnership with Tom Neal. Collins returns to the club where he played his cricket as a junior.
Also making the move from Sheriff Hutton Bridge is Tommy Hudson who missed the 2023 season through injury. He will add depth to the Woodhouse Grange first XI’s middle order.
Vinnie Ogden (Treeton to York)
Ogden’s move to York adds Premier League seam firepower as the Treeton right-armer finished with 40 wickets in the Yorkshire Cricket Southern Premier League.
York have revealed a raft of transfers in an effort to freshen a squad looking to win the Yorkshire Premier League North title after finishing second in 2023.
Breidyn Schaper returns to Clifton Park as their overseas. He scored 979 Premier League runs at an average of 65.
Wicketkeeper/batter Alex Jenkins moves from Ouseburn for the 2024 season. The teenager racked up 46 games last season and hit 673 runs in Division One of the Nidderdale Cricket League and Yorkshire Under 15s.
Left-arm spinner Harry Sullivan has also signed for York, he had 5 List-A games with Yorkshire CCC in 2022 before being released and is very highly-rated.
(Treeton might have lost the bowling of Ogden but they’ve topped up their batting with Zak Jahinger from Aston Hall, Joe Norbury from Whiston Parish Church and Harvey Wootton from Wickersley Old Village.)
Harry Warwick Cleethorpes CC (Townville to Cleethorpes)
Cleethorpes have secured a proven run-scorer in Harry Warwick who can slot in the top-order for the Yorkshire Cricket Southern Premier League side.
Warwick moves from Townville after 715 runs last term including a T20 hundred against New Farnley. He has 10,000+ runs in club cricket and will hope for a few more after switching Premier Leagues.
Abdul Faseeh (Sheffield Collegiate)
The Yorkshire Cricket Southern Premier League champions, Sheffield Collegiate, have re-signed Abdul Faseeh as their overseas player for next season.
He scored 707 runs at 37 with seven half-centuries; a key batting cog as Josh Varley’s squad brought the title to Abbeydale.
Sheffield Collegiate have also bolstered their ranks with allrounder Mathew Roberts who joins from Hucknall in the Notts Premier League.
Roberts has very impressive numbers with bat and ball. He’s been assembling big hundreds in recent seasons, allied with five-wicket hauls. 10,000+ runs and 500+ wickets is no mean feat and we’ll see how he goes in Yorkshire.
Shafiqullah Ghafari (Richmondshire)
The Afghan legspin star, Shafiqullah Ghafari, will be back in North Yorkshire for Richmondshire’s NYSD campaign in 2024.
A return last season was lined up but blocked by the Afghanistan Cricket Board but he’d made quite the impression the year before with 100 wickets and 424 runs.
Richmondshire, who finished second behind Saltburn in the NYSD’s top flight, have also signed Caleb Bradford from Longridge in the Northern Premier League. Caleb is a slow left arm spinner, with 67 wickets last season, who has moved to uni in Leeds.
Pavan Shah (Elsecar)
India Under 19 batting star Pavan Shah has signed for Elsecar for the 2024 season.
The 24-year-old Maharashtra batter has already shown an appetite for big scores with 282 for India U19 and his fledgling first-class career has seen him hit 219 in the Ranji Trophy; India’s domestic first-class competition.
Elsecar will hope Pavan has the same impact as Taruwar Kohli who hit 825 runs for the South Yorkshire village this year. Meanwhile, Bilal Anjam has been confirmed as Elsecar’s first-team captain.
Ok… that’s it for this transfers feature but it’s early days into player recruitment as we’re still in club and league dinner season.
It will be fascinating to see how those in the Bradford Premier League recruit to try to topple Woodlands and if Saltburn can keep their momentum after a historic year in the NYSD.
Beaten Yorkshire Premier League Play-Off finalists Sheffield Collegiate have begun adapting their squad while Castleford, winners of the Yorkshire Premier League North, will want to get into the Premier League knockout stages again.
Since this was first published, they have since announced the return to Savile Park of Scott Hopkinson, a consistent opening bat for Clifton Alliance in recent years.
As ever, with all clubs, it’s who you retain as well as who you bring in.
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