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Embery sets sights on a top-four finish

PUBLISHED: 17:49 23 April 2008 | UPDATED: 12:29 11 August 2010

GOODMAYES & BLYTHS-WOOD captain Mark Embery has suggested that anything less than a top-four finish in this season s 2008 Essex Lords International League Division One campaign would be disappointing. The replacement skipper, who took over from Adam She

GOODMAYES & BLYTHS-WOOD captain Mark Embery has suggested that anything less than a top-four finish in this season's 2008 Essex Lords International League Division One campaign would be "disappointing."

The replacement skipper, who took over from Adam Sheekey at the end of last season, is not new to the job having held the captaincy for four years between 1999 and 2003, yet Embery revealed he was eager to take up the reigns once again and spearhead their promotion assault.

"Adam agreed that things had gone a little stale and decided to move on from captaining the team and I thought the team needed a fresher look," said Embery, who had to relinquish the captaincy five years ago because of a knee injury.

"To a degree, captaining the side can affect my batting performances, but I haven't scored many runs over the last few years anyway. I think the responsibility will bring out the best in me. I'm looking forward to the challenge."

Embery is charged with orchestrating Goodmayes' return to the Premier Division after they failed to earn promotion last year, but he could not help but cast an envious glance at the facilities and colts' system of local rivals Goresbrook, who earned their place in the top flight last term.

"We failed last year but, to be fair, our side is not young. Goresbrook's average age is 25. I look at them in the field and I see a young and enthusiastic team. I hope they do well this season," said Embery, who also confirmed Sheekey as his opening batsman this season.

"Goresbrook have always had a good colts system. They bring the kids though whereas we've always been an older team. We don't bring youngsters through I'm sad to say. I envy their colts system. They've got a lot going for them."

Embery pinpointed his side's fielding as an area that needs improving if they are to fulfil ambitions of a top-four finish, as they prepare for Saturday's League Cup first round clash at May & Baker.

"Age creeps up on you. We're not spring chickens but there's been no excuse for the way we've fielded," he said.

"The realistic goal is top four and anything less would be disappointing.

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