Tucker looks to pass on knowledge at Rangers
Janeiro Tucker is not ready to hang up his bat and pads just yet as he settles into his new role as Southampton Rangers’ head coach.
Rangers begin the defence of their One Premier Division 50 Overs title against First Division champions Cleveland County at Wellington Oval on Saturday.
Rangers, who also won the Open League and the Western Counties Cup, with captain Dion Stovell winning the MVP award and Ricky Brangman the Coach of the Year, will be the team to beat after their success last season.
Tucker intends to lend his experience to the team, starting this weekend as they also play against Flatts Victoria, the other promoted side, on Sunday.
“I’m still in good shape, so I can certainly still play,” Tucker said. “For me, it is about having fun; I’m coming to the end of my career. I’m about passing on the knowledge to the younger guys and to let them enjoy cricket.”
Rangers will be spending a lot of time in the East End this summer, with the five other Premier Division teams coming from either Hamilton Parish or St George’s and St David’s, where Cleveland and Flatts will play their home games.
The Eastern Counties will have all four of their teams playing in the top flight this season.
Tucker insists he still has the passion to play at the age of 44.
“I don’t think it is going to be any different, we’ve got the same players, we’ve got the same drive and we’ve got the same attitude,” Tucker added
“We have the addition of a couple of younger players, which is really good, but not much has changed. We’re still playing to win.”
St David’s will likely be one of Rangers’ main rivals this season. St David’s won the Premier Champions Cup, the Twenty20 tournament and the Eastern Counties last season.
Lionel Cann, Tucker’s former Bermuda team-mate, has returned to St David’s to finish his career. They also picked up Sheldon Caesar from Rangers.
“We’re setting out to defend our titles the best way we can, but I still don’t think our team is as strong as St David’s,” Tucker added. “They have strengthened their team a little, with Lionel back down there and he’ll make a difference.”
Rangers could be playing against two former players on the opening day, following the departures of batsmen Dean Stephens and Ian Armstrong to Cleveland.
St David’s begin their season at home to neighbours St George’s on Saturday, while Bailey’s Bay and Flatts will meet at Sea Breeze Oval.
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