UNSWORTH are hoping this season’s campaign in the GMCL’s Division 1A will have been a case of short-term pain for long-term gain.

The Denpole Lane club’s first team have endured a largely forgettable summer so far – bottom of the table and yet to register a win from their 14 league games.

They have lost 11 with three No Results, the latest being at Glodwick on Saturday.

In the Derek Kay Trophy earlier in the season, however, they beat Glossop and Heyside, both of whom are challenging for promotion in 1A and 1B.

Chairman Mike Boothroyd believes there are positives they can take from 2019, including the development of a young first-year captain Andrew McGuiness and the form of Indian professional Amogh Desai (459 runs and 18 wickets).

Desai, a first-class cricketer for Goa, is the division’s second leading runs-scorer.

“We’re looking at get that first win on the board. That’s our aim from now on,” said Boothroyd. “Then, hopefully, some winter recruitment and we should pick up next year.

“We will be playing in tier three, maybe four, next year. It just depends what the league does with the new clubs coming in.

“There are about four new clubs, and they haven’t said where they are going to place them yet.”

Explaining the struggles, Boothroyd continued: “We lost some players for different reasons – some have gone nearer to home – and the club made a conscious decision to go with the younger players.

“Everybody wants paying now, and we decided we didn’t want to go down that route any more and instead bring on the home-grown players.

“Consequently, we lost a couple of players who didn’t agree with that.

“We have a very young captain who is still learning and has his brother helping him. He’s done alright. Andy’s 21 or 22, and his older brother Steve is a PE teacher. He’s given him some stability.

“But we haven’t got enough batsmen to support the pro.

“Amogh came last year – his first ever in this country – and he struggled on English pitches.

"But this year he’s hit the ground running. He’s had a shoulder injury which has restricted his bowling a bit, but he’s carried on.

“At the start of the season we looked at the number of players we had and were worried about how we’d cope. But now we’ve got six or seven youngsters who have since come back to play for us. That’s a big plus.

“Our older juniors are playing a lot for the second and third team and are developing as a result.

“I’m positive for the future, it might just take time.”

Boothroyd, whose first team have seven rounds remaining in which to claim that victory, is also happy with progress of the club away from match-day performances.

“We have fantastic facilities at Unsworth,” he added. “We relayed the square a few years ago, and this year it’s played much better. That will benefit us going forwards.

“We also used to have a reputation for having a wet outfield, but that’s no longer the case. The drainage work we’ve had done is coming to the fore now.”