Cricket: Crossley set for a big step forward with the champions
PROMISING wicket-keeper Steven Crossley believes the opportunity to play in the Yorkshire ECB County Premier League was too good to refuse.
The 19-year-old former Grimsby Town CC man, who is currently studying at Leeds Metropolitan University, will join league champions York ahead of the 2012 domestic campaign.
Following his departure from Augusta Street, Crossley is determined to make the grade.
He said: "York have won their division for the last five years now. It is going to be a big step up for me. But, it is a challenge that I really had to take.
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"I have been netting with Leeds Met and it just started from there.
"Our first-team coach has connections with York. People have seen me training and the club approached me to ask if I would be keen on making the move.
"The captain Dan Woods sent me a voicemail and I decided to go for it.
"I just want to show what I can do. I have been told that I will be batting at seven, but I might not get that many opportunities. The York batting line-up is very strong, and the wicket is supposed to be good for batting.
"But, I have been working hard on my keeping during the winter and will focus on that.
"The guy before me (Nigel Durham) has kept wicket for York for about 20 years – I just want to step in and perform well."
Despite jumping at the chance to further his Minor Counties ambitions, having featured just once for Lincolnshire CCC in 2011, Crossley will always look fondly upon his time with Grimsby.
He said: "It was a very difficult decision for me to join York.
"But, I am going to be living in Leeds during the summer and it would have been difficult to travel back to Grimsby every week.
"The club have been really good to me over the years. People like Graham Harneiss have helped me through. I started as an under-13 and broke into the first team at a young age.
"I think the club will do very well this season. Signing Matthew Rutherford is a big move. If they can sign a decent overseas player, there is no reason why they can't challenge at the top of the league."
Crossley moves to Clifton Park after a modest return in 2011. The gloveman scored just 168 Lincolnshire ECB Premier League runs, but did manage to claim 27 dismissals.