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Transfers: All the moves as they happen
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Updated: Friday, January 1, 2016 17:04
LEAGUE CREST GLENN ROBERTS PREPARES FOR A NEW CAREER
Glenn Roberts
Glenn Roberts umpiring in last Sunday's Division Two clash between Great Horton and Bowling Old Lane

One of the JCT600 Bradford League’s most decorated players is preparing for a career change. Pudsey Congs left-arm spinner Glenn Roberts is going to hang up his boots at the end of the season and become an umpire.

Glenn Roberts
Glenn Roberts bowling for Pudsey Congs
Glenn Roberts and Les Wood
Glenn Roberts shares a view with Les Wood
Pictures: © Mike Baker JCT600 Bradford League

But before he brings down the curtain on a glittering career which has seen him take more than 500 Bradford League wickets, he is determined to help his club win the Heavy Woollen Cup for the first time and lift the Dyson Energy Services Twenty/20 Cup again.

Congs face Central Yorkshire League champions Townville in Sunday’s Heavy Woollen final at Spen Victoria and Roberts will be aiming to collect his 16th winner’s medal with the club.

And on Thursday, August 14, Congs take on their old rivals Woodlands in the Dyson Energy Services Twenty/20 Cup final under the floodlights at Bradford & Bingley’s Wagon Lane ground.

Since joining Congs in 2001 he has helped them win five league championships, five Priestley Cups, the Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy three times and the Dyson Energy Services Twenty/20 Cup once.

He had one season as captain in 2010 and marked it by leading Congs to a dramatic title triumph which was sealed with a last-day win at Bankfoot.

Roberts, who topped the Division One bowling averages last season, has already officiated in a number of Bradford League games, was in charge of last Sunday’s Division Two game between Bowling Old Lane and Great Horton.

Unlike his team-mates, Roberts has won the Heavy Woollen Cup once before. He was part of the Spen Victoria team which defeated Windhill in 1996.

Roberts said: “I have had some great times with Pudsey Congs and playing the final at Spen Victoria makes it a little more special for me.

“This is the one cup Pudsey Congs have not won and it will be a great way to go out if we can win it.”

Roberts, 40, believes the time is right for his change of roles. A sports master at Silcoates School, Roberts has had only limited availability to play during term time.

“It hasn’t helped the team having to find a replacement for me whenever I haven’t been able to play,” he said.

“I feel the time is right for the club to be able to recruit bowlers who can play regularly and help the development of what is a talented young team,” he added.

“I have umpired school matches for a number of years and have been taking my umpiring exams. I have passed my level 1 and level 1A exams and I am now completing my level 2.

“This season I have umpired a number of Division Two games on Sundays when Congs have not been playing and I have enjoyed it. Mind you, when I am bowling I think everything is out lbw, but when I am umpiring I find myself turning down appeals I would probably think were out if I was bowling.”

Roberts is aware that he faces some crucial games in the final weeks of his playing career. In addition to the two finals, Congs have to secure their place in Division One.

“That was the number one priority when I started playing regularly again after my school matches were over,” he said.

GLENN ROBERTS' SUCCESSES WITH CONGS
2001
League championship
2001
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
2002
League championship
2002
Priestley Cup
2002
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
2003
League championship
2004
League championship
2004
Priestley Cup
2004
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
2005
Priestley Cup
2005
Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy
2007
Priestley Cup
2008
Priestley Cup
2010
League championship
2012
Dyson Energy Services Twenty/20 Cup

“We have had some good results in recent weeks but I still think we need to win two of the last six to be safe. We have a couple of tough fixtures coming up. We visit Hanging Heaton on Saturday and then we are away to Pudsey St Lawrence, so we can’t just focus on the two finals.”

Roberts says he has thoroughly enjoyed his playing career which started 22 years ago with his local team Kirkheaton. In all the played 11 seasons in the Huddersfield League, eight with Kirkheaton and three with Slaithwaite.

He had one season at Farsley in 1990 and two with Spen Victoria, 1996 and 1997 so he knew all about Bradford League cricket when he finally joined Congs after taking a job at Fulneck School.

He had played all his junior representative cricket with Yorkshire and was on the first Yorkshire Academy intake along with Matthew Doidge, who captained him for so long at Congs.

When he was released he joined Derbyshire in 1996 and spent three years there. He played mainly in one-day games and was 12th man for their 1998 Nat West trophy final defeat by Lancashire at Lord’s.

In all he played 11 First Class games in which he scored 334 runs and took ten wickets. In his 38 one-day appearances he scored 134 runs and took 44 wickets.

Roberts, who also helps coach the Yorkshire Schools under-19 team along with Woodhouse Grove’s Ian Frost, said: “I have had a great playing career and now I am looking forward to my umpiring.

“It was nice last Sunday going out and umpiring with Les Wood, who has umpired me many times in recent years and I look forward to working with the other umpires in the league who I have come across as a player.

“But first I want to finish my last season with Congs on a high. If we can finish with a trophy or two that will be a great way to bow out.”

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