AFTER CLEETHORPES then Scarborough, it’s now Abu Dhabi for Wakefield Thornes.
The ECB Yorkshire Premier League South champions do battle with Bradford League winners Pudsey St Lawrence in the Yorkshire Premier League final at the Zayed Stadium on October 27 – the final game of a remarkable season.
Eyebrows were raised when ex-Central Yorkshire League Thornes were the only club to relocate into Yorkshire South, dominated by South-Yorkshire teams and some from further afield. But clocking up the miles has paid off for Thornes, who turned the title race into a procession and are now seeking to crown their dream year.
Captain Tom Froggett, whose side beat Harrogate at Scarborough to earn a place at Abu Dhabi, said: “We had a few trips to the likes of Cleethorpes.
“We actually booked a big curry that night and stayed over and banked on winning it, otherwise the atmosphere would have been a bit flat!
“There has been a bit more travelling. But you don’t mind that when you are playing at a better standard and with better facilities and that was a lot of motivation behind our move.
“We certainly don’t mind the sort of travelling we have to Abu Dhabi. We can live with that!”
Froggett added: “My dad is chairman and I have managed to convince my wife to go, and my brother-in-law Greg Wadsworth plays as well. So it’s a bit of a family affair with me, my dad, brother-in-law and all the wives and girlfriends going.”
A host of Thornes players have come to the party in the league season and Froggett is hoping they carry on from where they left off against St Lawrence: “We have one or two who are top class and the rest of us chip in around them.
“Our overseas Akila Isanka got 60-odd league wickets and three or four hundred league runs in good time and has been fantastic for us. Batting wise, Dave Toft got 800-odd runs and got a fantastic 70 not out at Scarborough.
“It is strange in that you finish the season in September and then you have this big game coming up in October and it is a case of thinking: ‘how do you prepare that for really?’.
“We have done one or two training sessions. But it is important also to freshen up the lads and not overwork them as 10 degrees in the rain in England does not prepare you for 30-degree heat outside in Abu Dhabi. But it will be business when we get there.”