FOR Wimborne Cricket Club, things could not be going much better, on or off the field.

Under the captaincy of former Bournemouth CC man Ben Bridgen, Wimborne sit top of the Premier Division of the Dorset Cricket League, still unbeaten this season after nine matches.

“I wasn’t expecting to start like this, especially as our team is so young,” Bridgen admitted to the Daily Echo.

“The young lads especially are learning a huge amount each week, being thrown different challenges and they keep responding.

“The club is going from strength to strength. Our junior section is super strong.

“We’ve got Richard Scott, who supports there and we’ve got Joe Kelly, who is our overseas this year from Australia, who has come in and helped from a coaching perspective as well.

“It’s certainly going in the right direction.”

But it was the work at the club away from the first team where Bridgen was keen to shine most light.

“On a Friday it’s an amazing sight,” Bridgen told the Daily Echo.

“I do the All Stars and Dynamo session. It’s softball cricket up to the age of 10.

“We’ve gone from 40 or 50 kids on a Friday night to about 180. In a two-hour session, honestly it’s like they’re everywhere. It is incredible.

“We’ve made a really family friendly environment. We have the bar open, a barbecue, a bit of music and we get food vans and catering all the way through.

“It’s a real family event and this year it has really come on. Now at junior level we’ve got a huge amount of kids that are now playing age group cricket.

“It’s the first year we’ve ever had girls teams. It’s all coming on nicely.

“Each year we just try to take it that next step forward, with the facilities we’ve got and the coaches.”

Bournemouth Echo: Wimborne CC's junior section is growing year-on-year

He added: “It has (jumped on) this year. Integrating both the All Stars and the Dynamos on one night has been a big part of that.

“But each year, word of mouth, it’s really ramped up. We’ve had more and more support.

“It’s all driven by the number of volunteers we can get, because clearly we can only host so many kids. But we’ve had a real buy-in from the local community and partnerships with local schools, we’ve been able to get into the schools to give them a bit of an intro.

“It’s been lots of support and work from that volunteer group to really drive it forward. The committee has really bought into it as well.

“The cricket club is the place to be on a Friday night. But the amount of people who keep saying ‘I’ve missed out, can I bring my kids next year?’.

“That’s the idea of it. My ambition really is to make sure every kid that is in that Wimborne facility has had access to some sort of cricket.

“It’s getting that word out as much as we can as volunteers. We’re trying to do this in our spare time.

“We have the most wonderful facility down at the club now. The ground is unbelievable.

“It’s there to be enjoyed and we’re trying to develop from the bottom and get these young kids through the system.”

For more information on how to get involved, contact Ben via email