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Barking skipper Afzal looking forward to his club’s new challenges

PUBLISHED: 10:00 05 November 2019

Ehsan Afzal of Barking (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

Ehsan Afzal of Barking (pic George Phillipou/TGS Photo)

©TGS Photo tgsphoto.co.uk +44 1376 553468

Barking captain Ehsan Afzal is looking forward to the new challenges of playing in the Shepherd Neame Essex League next season.

The Mayesbrook Park outfit finished runners-up to Aztecs in the Essex County League Premier Division this year, but were crowned T20 and Carribean Cup champions.

They will play in Division Three of the Shepherd Neame Essex League in 2020 alongside Newham, Rainham and Springfield who were all also elected as Associate members.

Th division will be made up of 14 teams next season, with two teams gaining promotion in Division Two.

"It's a challenge which we have been looking to achieve for a long time and we're pleased to have been given this opportunity," said Afzal.

"We will be challenged weekly, if not by the opponents, then the game structure.

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"The match format is totally different to what we are used to and if we're to do well, we will need to play very well weekly."

The rest of Barking's teams will remain in the Essex County League with just the first team making the switch. But the skipper still feels it's a step in the right direction for the entire club.

"We as a club have been moving in the right direction. A lot of people behind the scenes have helped make this happen," he said.

"Credit goes to the committee members who worked tirelessly to make this happen."

Barking will come up against the likes of local rivals Goresbrook, as well as Harlow, Walthamstow, Ardleigh Green & Havering-Atte-Bower, Epping, Stanford Le Hope, Woodford Green, West Essex and the other new entries next season.

"We're looking forward to the challenge. We have the players to do well, but we do have a lot to learn," said Afzal, who will be looking to bolster the squad as they take on new opponents and a tougher competition.

"We're always looking to attract new players. There is a huge squad already and no ones place is guaranteed," he said.

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