COLCHESTER and East Essex Cricket Club chairman Andrew Kennedy says returning to the Shepherd Neame Essex League top flight is vital for the club.

The Castle Park side have returned to the premier division after a two-year absence, after claiming the division one title with a game to spare.

Darren Eckford’s side have been impressively consistent throughout the campaign, tasting defeat only three times throughout the whole season.

And after they were crowned champions following a draw at Woodford Wells, chairman Kennedy is delighted.

He said: “It’s very good to get it sealed and delivered.

“It’s really important for us to be back in the top flight.

“We’ve yo-yoed a bit since the Premier League started, in 1999.

“Over that time, I think we’ve spent ten years in the premier division and ten years in division one.

“Players want to play at the best standard they can and a promoted side is a bit more of an attractive proposition to players who have either been with the club in the past or have moved to the local area.

“We know that we already have a good squad but if players of the right quality do want to join us, we won’t turn them away.

“It would be nice to have one or two experienced players but we’re not to desperate to go out and recruit.”

Colchester will be looking to finish a successful season on a high this weekend when they host Upminster, at Castle Park.