Bradninch are to re-sign Gary Chappell from Exmouth, three years after he left Kensham Park to go to the Maer.
It’s the first signing completed by new Bradninch skipper Tim Piper who says:
“In not too dissimilar way to myself when I left to come back (Piper made the switch to Torquay at the start of last season, but switched back to Bradninch six weeks into the campaign), the fact is Gary is a Bradninch lad in cricketing terms. There is something special about the club and it seems one never stays away too long!”
Chappell left Kensham Park in 2012 to pursue new challenges at the Maer and he certainly achieved that, winning the Devon League and the Devon Cup before, arguably the biggest of all achievements leading Exmouth’s limited over side to a SKY TV appearance at the Swalec Stadium, Cardiff where the Maer men contested the Finals Day of the ECB T20 Cup.
Gary Chappell being interviewed by Sky TV’s Mark Butcher before the ECB Club T20 finals day at Cardiff
“I’d always said one day I would return to Bradninch as I have a lot of friends at the club and enjoyed my time there. I have had three great years at Exmouth and have achieved as much as I could have hoped for, both individually and as a team member. Winning the Premier Division and Devon Cup in my first year was brilliant, but getting to the ECB National T20 finals last season was definitely the highlight of my time at Exmouth. That Finals Day experience at Cardiff is probably the biggest single reason why I have made this decision now as it’s clear that that is an achievement I feel cannot be beaten.”
“Everyone at Exmouth has been excellent in making me feel part of the club and made my time there so enjoyable and I’d like to thank them all for everything, and I wish them all the best for the coming season and the future. Needless to say they’re a great club and it’s one of the best places in Devon to play club cricket. But for me it’s time to look forward and I’m very excited to be back at Bradninch and I am keen to hep them achieve their ultimate goal of getting back into the Premier Division.
That is not going to be easy and will require a lot of hard work, but I have no doubt we have the players in the Kensham Park dressing room to compete at the top and achieve promotion in what is a special year for the club.”
Bradninch chairman Derrick Foan says:
“This is absolutely brilliant news. Gary was an integral part of the club before leaving and now adds even more, having had three successful years with Exmouth”
Bradninch CC celebrate its 125th year in 2016 and the presence of Gary Chappell certainly means they will be more competitive throughout the campaign than they were in 2015 when they were not that far off the promotion places at the end of the season.
A member of the Roller End supporters at Kensham Park said:
“What a signing. Well done, the club on this. Chaps is such a good player with bat and ball and his presence will strengthen us no end. I know he is also (rightly) revered by the younger players we have coming up through the ranks at Kensham Park. Roll on next season – personally I cannot wait to see Chaps back in the BCC colours – welcome home young man.”