COLCHESTER and East Essex Cricket Club have added some bite to their top order ahead of the new season after signing promising young batsman Dan Wolf.

The 22-year-old, who has played Minor Counties cricket for Devon, arrives at Castle Park having scored nearly 3,000 league runs for Paignton Cricket Club.

Wolf, who has moved to the area from the South West, is a former Devon Cricket League young player of the year and is now looking forward to helping Colchester achieve success in the Shepherd Neame Essex League top flight, this season.

Colchester and East Essex director of cricket Julian Russell said: “We’re really excited to welcome Dan to the club and looking forward to him scoring some runs for us.

“He played quite a lot of Premier League cricket down in Devon and he’s also played a bit of Minor Counties cricket for Devon, so he’s certainly got some experience of playing at a high level of cricket.

“His first impression of Castle Park is that it looks great and already, he’s saying that he can’t wait out to play out there.”

Colchester’s players returned to training earlier this month, ahead of the new season.

They play their first competitive match on Sunday when they take on Cavaliers, in the North Essex Cricket League.

They follow that up with a Dukes Essex League Cup first-round game at Chelmsford on April 24, before the new Essex League season begins with a match against the same opponents at Chelmer Park, on May 8.

Colchester are looking forward to playing a full season in the premier division, having seen their first campaign in the top flight disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic following their promotion, in 2019.

“There’s lots of enthusiasm and lots of people who have been around the club for the last few years,” added Russell.

“It feels like there’s a lot of energy and a lot of people who want to get back out there on the field after the winter we’ve had and last season, where we were glad to get some cricket in but it certainly wasn’t the full experience.

“Last year was great, in a lot of ways.

“We got to play some games against those very top teams and we could see where we stood.

“Some of us have got some experience of playing at that level for a number of years while some of the younger guys haven’t played a huge amount of cricket against some of the best Premier League teams in the county.

“So it was good to get a little bit of a taste of it last year but this year, we’re going into it with a full 18-game season ahead of us and playing for bonus points.

“We’re expecting it to be a tough test of where we’re at but also looking forward to proving ourselves.”