Andy Harris is urging Great & Little Tew to keep it simple as they prepare for the biggest day in the club’s history at Lord’s, writes Ed Mezzetti.
Tew face Yorkshire’s Woodhouse Grange in the Davidstow Village Cup final on Sunday, hoping to become only the second Oxfordshire side to lift the trophy – after Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Playing at the home of cricket in front of an expected four-figure crowd will be a new and potentially daunting experience for the side.
But captain and seamer Harris stressed: “We are just going to approach it exactly the same as we have done through my term of captaincy.
“We are not going to do anything different.
“It’s going to be at Lord’s with a much bigger crowd than we usually have.
“But we are still playing with the same red ball we always have.”
While he and his squad remain focused, Harris knows this may be a once in a career opportunity.
“It probably won’t sink it until two or three days afterwards,” he said.
Tew have used 16 players during the campaign, but Harris has named the same squad of 12 that beat Dinton in the semi-finals.
Of the other four, Curtly Slatter and Lawrence Brock are now ineligible due to appearances for Oxfordshire and Northants 2nd respectively. Josh Garrett and Jack Haggett remain on standy and will also travel to Lord’s.
“That’s the nasty part of captaincy, to have those tough conversations with guys you are leaving out,” said Harris.
“The whole 16 are going up to Lord’s the night before and will be treated just the same.”
Tew’s players will be put up in a hotel and get brand new kit for the day.
Their Lord’s appearance follows promotion to the Home Counties Premier League in 2012, both of which were targets when Harris teamed up with coach Phil Slatter in 2011.
“I didn’t expect we would do it so quickly,” said Harris.
“It’s a fantastic achievement from the guys. They are a really strong group of players with a great attitude.
“It’s great that 13 of that 16 have come through the ranks at Tew as well, playing at least since under 17 level.”
Great & Little Tew: from White, Smith, Hubbert, Josh Garrett, Jeacock, Darby, Harris (capt), Shurmer, Catling, Lloyd Brock, Thomas, Bryan.