ELLIOTT Gilford has returned to Walsden CC from arch rivals Todmorden as the countdown to the 2019 season continues.
The all-rounder started as a junior at Scott Street, where his mother Janet is treasurer, but moved to Centre Vale a handful of years ago.
He has now returned to the Lancashire League champions and Walsden spokesman Kenny Gale said they were pleased to have him.
“He is a good cricketer who has possibly not quite fulfilled his potential,” said Gale. “He is a classic batsman and bowls some decent medium pace.
“He is also a good fielder so he is a decent acquisition.”
In spite of his qualities, Gilford is still likely to have to battle for a place in the first team.
Walsden have lost one of Gale’s talented sons, Josh, who will be professional at Bury club Woodbank CC this summer. However, they still have a hugely talented squad.
Gilford could get a chance to stake a claim for a first team place in either of Walsden’s two pre-season friendlies. They travel to Liverpool side Northern, who beat them in the last eight of the LCB Cup last season, on Saturday, April 6 and then go to Lytham CC seven days later.
Walsden’s first meaningful game is away to cup winners Lowerhouse in the season-opening Singleton Cup on April 20 with Burnley the first visitors in the league just 24 hours later.
Meanwhile, one player who may only be donning his whites in an emergency next season is Albert Ross.
Last season’s title-winning third team captain, once one of the club’s top batsmen and now aged 67, has announced his retirement.
Jon Lord will skipper the thirds with Nick Barker and Stuart Hanson again in charge of the firsts and seconds respectively.
Walsden’s senior dinner and presentation night is at the club on March 2.
Ninety seven people are due to attend and entertainment will be provided by comedian Mick Monroe.