DAN Housego is confident Wokingham will be a force to be reckoned with in the Home Counties Premier League next season, writes Dave Wright.

The Oaks sealed the Thames Valley League title and promotion last Saturday, taking them back to the HCPL after a nine-year absence.

They will be playing in Division Two and Housego said: “We will be looking to win it.

“I believe we are capable of doing well and being up there at the end of the season.”

The player-coach, however, admitted he is looking to strengthen the squad.

“We will be looking to bring another couple of young players in, a couple of batters and maybe another spinner, but I don’t want to change it too much as we have been pretty successful and hopefully we can continue as we are.”

Wokingham did not clinch the TVL championship last Saturday in the way they would have liked, slipping to a 64-run defeat at home to fourth-placed Gerrards Cross.

Fortunately, the eight bonus points picked up left the table-toppers in an unassailable position with just one week of the league remaining.

“Obviously, we are all delighted to have won the league,” said Housego, a much sought-after coach in local cricket.

“We have done really well this season, it has been a very good team effort.

“But the most pleasing thing for me is our integration of young players.

“We have got a very good balance, we have experience, but also some really talented young players and they play an integral part in the first team and second team.

“That is something I am really passionate about and, hopefully, will continue to do that.”

Among the outstanding young performers are batting star Archie Carter, who at 16 is now part of the Berkshire senior squad, and bowlers Jacob Clark and Lewis Sharp.

The Sadlers End club could be celebrating three TVL titles come this Saturday evening.

The 2nds (111-0) beat Cove 2nds (107) by 10 wickets on Saturday to go 13 points clear at the top of Division 3a with a home game remaining, against second-placed Wargrave, while the 5ths are in pole position in Division 9a with just Newbury 3rds to come.

“Getting three promotions would be excellent. We had three last year, so six promotions in two years would be very helpful as the club progresses,” continued Housego.

Last Saturday the former Gloucestershire and Middlesex batsman top scored with 40 in Wokingham’s total of 172, with Stuart Parsons making 33, skipper Stuart Hayter 31 and Archie Carter 30.

But it fell 64 runs short of Gerrards Cross score of 236 (Dan Hampton 114) with Paul Dewick taking 3-40.

Meanwhile, Gary Fleming made 54 as Wokingham 4ths (212-9) beat Maidenhead & Bray 2nds (204) by eight runs in Division 5b, but Wokingham 4ths (182) lost to Newbury 2nds (188-6) by four wickets in Division 7a.

Wokingham conclude their campaign this weekend with a trip to Falkland.