Wollaston enjoying a welcome change of focus at the top end
By his own admission, Wollaston captain Chris Perry is very happy to be having a different kind of conversation when it comes to his team's early exploits in the Hevey Building Supplies Northamptonshire League Premier Division.
They head into their home clash with Brixworth this weekend as one of the form teams in the top-flight.
After suffering an opening-day defeat to much-fancied Peterborough, Perry’s men haven’t looked back and have picked up five wins from the seven matches that have followed, including a big 111-run success over Horton House last weekend.
So why have the fortunes changed for a team that found itself in a struggle at the wrong end of the table in the past two seasons?
“I wish I could put my finger on the exact reason but it’s nice to be able to talk about being at the top end because there have been plenty of conversations in the past when we have been at the other end,” said Perry, whose team sit in fourth place.
“I would say that availability has probably cost us a few points in the past.
“But everyone has been available and that has resulted in us having a real balance to the squad.
“There is competition for places and when players know there are others breathing down their necks, it creates that extra bit of pressure to perform well.
“We have also got youngsters who have matured. Someone like Kamran Bahra, for example, has benefited from a couple of years in the Premier Division.
“He looks a different bowler and has taken early wickets in matches, which have set us up for good results.
“It’s a massive cliche but we just have to take it week by week.
“We have that competition for places but when you are a small village team it can easily go the other way.
“Hopefully that isn’t the case for us because the availability is enabling all three senior teams to perform well in their divisions at the moment.”
The question now, of course, is whether the upward curve can be maintained.
‘Belief’ seems to be the buzzword for Perry.
“You have seen it in football’s Premier League (with Leicester City) that sometimes a bit of belief is all you need,” he added.
“I am not sure how much the change of format has affected things and it may be a while before we know.
“But seeing teams like Peterborough and Rushden dropping points only instils more belief and confidence in everyone else.
“At the moment, it’s making it more exciting. There are fresh names at the top end of the table and, at this stage, the ‘Prem’ feels like one division instead of the usual situation where it’s like having three divisions in one.”