Andy Britton takes over captaincy at Beechgrove

Andrew Britton
Andrew Britton

Andy Britton has replaced Gareth McKeegan as the captain of Brigade.

The former Limavady and Donemana all-rounder has stepped up from the role of vice-captain with the season barely a month old.

McKeegan, the experienced wicketkeeper-batsman, said he was unable to give the position his undivided attention.

Britton is a novice in captaincy terms but doesn’t plan on making any drastic changes from McKeegan.

“This is my first experience of captaining a senior side but I’m really looking forward to it.

“I won’t be looking to make any dramatic changes; Gareth had a good way with him in that role so I don’t think we have anything to gain from trying to do things differently”.

“We have a good squad here and while our bowling is as good as any in the country, it’s no secret that our batting hasn’t fired yet. There is no problem with the quality of players we have but we know ourselves we need to perform better with the bat if we want to be fighting for trophies.”

First up for Britton is a trip to Ardmore on Saturday, a dress rehearsal for the Senior Cup quarter-final in a couple of weeks’ time.

“They are two completely different games and while the league match will no doubt be keenly contested, the cup is sudden death and probably has more of an edge. Make no mistake about it - we’re after the double this season, but obviously we’re desperately keen to put the record straight in the cup. Everybody talks about how unique our two-day final is and that is so true. The players to a man are totally focused on getting to the final and it would be a fantastic weekend to be leading Brigade out at Eglinton at the end of July.”

Britton predicts that Donemana and Coleraine, the only unbeaten teams in the Premiership, are very much the sides to beat.

“We have as good a chance as anyone although Coleraine and Donemana are the two teams we all have to beat. You can never write Donemana off especially if Andy (McBrine) is available throughout the summer and if Ricky-Lee gets back to full fitness after his hand injury”.

“Ricky-Lee is a superb talent and there are few better ‘keepers around anywhere than him. We have to just concentrate on our own business for now of course and we will go to Ardmore confident that if we play well we can win. Richard Hepburn is expected to be in the squad for the first time this season so we are just about back to full strength.”

In Saturday’s other games Donemana take on Strabane, who hope to have professional Tawanda Mupariwa back from international duty. Coleraine will be hot favourites at St Johnston.