BATMAN.  Matthew Porter, General Manager Curtis Toyota Ballymena and Marketing Manager Jacqueline Stewart, pictured with Cricketer Roy Silva and Gareth Godfrey.CR19-210SC.
BATMAN. Matthew Porter, General Manager Curtis Toyota Ballymena and Marketing Manager Jacqueline Stewart, pictured with Cricketer Roy Silva and Gareth Godfrey.CR19-210SC.

COLERAINE Cricket Club’s new professional is hoping to fire the Sandel Lodge outfit to glory this season.

Roy Silva certainly has the pedigree to do it. The Sri Lankan all-rounder has played for numerous clubs in his homeland as well as in England.

He has also shown what he is capable of in the North West League having spent two seasons with Glendermott.

The 32-year-old has over 2,000 runs to his name over here and he is eyeing another big return this time out in what he hopes is a successful season for his new club.

“I’ve scored over 2,000 runs in my last two seasons in the league, so I would like to keep that going this summer and score 1,000 runs for Coleraine,” Roy told Times Sport.

“If I manage to do that and the rest of the guys play to the level they are capable of then I think we can go far.

“We have a good balanced team here, good batting and bowling and a good mix of young players and experienced players.

“Coleraine were unlucky last year but we have to kick on this now and aim to bring some silverware back to the club at the end of the season.”

Up until the final stages of last season it looked like the Bannsiders were going to cause a major upset and snatch the Senior League crown.

But the loss of fellow Sri Lankan Chinthaka Jayasinghe unfortunately put paid to those dreams.

However with a top order of Niall McDonnell, Scott Campbell, Silva, skipper David Cooke, Craig Averill and Gordon Cooke, which is as good as any in the division and with solid seam and spin options in attack, Coleraine won’t be far away this time round.

“The club were in a very good position last season but they lost the professional CJ going into the last few games and it impacted on how they finished,” said Roy.

“If he had stayed I think Coleraine could have gone on and won the league.

“Hopefully we can put that right this season.”

Silva is well settled in the north west and he has a double century to his name just like his predecessor.

“My job is batting. I can bowl as well and I will always do my best, but it’s only part-time batting is my main job,” he said.

“I’ve scored a lot of runs I the league and I know how to score runs in the league. I like scoring runs.”

One challenge Silva did face though was the conditions.

“This is my third year in the north west. I struggled a bit in my first season with the cold, but now I’m used to it,” he said.

“I only have a couple of layers on now during the game.

“That first year I really struggled as my hands were so cold and that’s not great when you are trying to bat or bowl.”

Silva is hoping to work with the young players at Sandel Lodge during his time at the club, but he feels the game over here is in a very good condition.

“I played for four years in the league in England and I would say North West cricket is stronger than English League cricket,” said Silva.

“Here we play 50-over game whereas in England it’s only 25 overs and if they have a pro and another good bowler they finish the game quickly.

“For me that’s no good, you have to give the young players the opportunity to gain experience and be a part of the game.

“I’ve notice the kids over here love to play cricket and I will be doing some coaching during my time here.

“As I said the kids are the future of the game and it’s important we develop them.”

Silva returned to his old stomping ground at Glendermott on Saturday to help Coleraine to an eight wicket win and maintain their 100% start to the season.

Silva hit an unbeaten 36 off 14 balls as Coleraine romped home much to his delight.

“It was nice to see some familiar faces again, but Coleraine is my team now and I will be doing all I can to bring success here,” he said.

“I have met so many good people here already. Everybody has made me feel so welcome. I just want to repay them.”