DAN HOUSEGO believes Wokingham youngster Archie Carter has the potential to go right to the top of the game.
Carter hit his highest score of the season, an unbeaten 68, as he and Housego put on a match-winning partnership of 138 to guide the Oaks to victory over Henley 2s.
It was the club’s sixth straight win, which opens up a 28-point lead atop Thames Valley Division 1.
Despite his tender age of just 16, Carter has made a big impact in his first year with the Oaks, averaging 55, after joining from Emmbrook and Bearwood.
His form has also earned him call-ups to Berkshire and player-coach Housego says the youngster is doing everything right.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to work with him for three years now and he’s progressed so well,” Housego told The Wokingham Paper.
“I’m pretty confident he will continue to do well.
“It just feels as though he’s matured a lot as a boy, works extremely hard at his game and he wants to play at the top level so it’s all going in the right direction.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if he finishes as our top run scorer this year.”
He added: “He is heavily involved with Middlesex and played for the first team at Berkshire this year so he’ll continue to progress.
“He’s just got his scholarship to Wellington College as well so he’ll play with another one of my players, Jack Davies. It’s all going in the right direction for Archie.
“I think he’s got the right attitude. It’s obviously a completely different level when you play first class cricket as opposed to club cricket.
“There’s still a long way to go, but I’m pretty confident that he has the potential and the confidence to do that.”
After four wickets from Jarrett Bobb helped restrict Henley to 193-9 off their 52 overs, Wokingham made light work of the chase with unbeaten knocks from Housego (89) and
Carter (68) to win by eight wickets.
After struggling in this series of traditional timed matches in previous years, Wokingham appear to have found a winning formula to take maximum points on all five occasions so far and avoid any draws, something Housego feels is key.
“It’s a funny league,” said the player-coach.
“This is my second year of it and the points system is quite different and obviously only one team goes up.
“You’ve got to win as many games as you can because if you draw, the points are so sporadic. You have to keep the momentum going.
“We’ve got four or five more timed ones and then back into the one-dayers, which I think is more of our strength anyway.
“If we can win a few more of the timed ones and then finish well, we’ll be there or thereabouts.”
Housego arrived at Wokingham on the back of an illustrious playing career that saw him play first-class cricket with Middlesex and Gloucestershire.
And he admits it was difficult to adapt to life as a club cricket coach.
“From a coach perspective, it was certainly a challenge in the first year,” said Housego.
“I came from the environment of 10 years where you had to be on time, you had to train properly and I found that quite difficult to adapt to because with club cricket people aren’t getting paid to play.
“You have to be a bit more relaxed and a bit more lenient with the guys with work etc and I feel as though I’ve been able to adapt to that and have a good understanding of it now.
“The first year, especially the first few weeks, I found it quite difficult.”