Published: 18th April, 2019
Surrey Women captain Hannah Jones believes her side will surprise many of their opponents as they prepare for life in Division One in 2019.
Long serving skipper Cecily Scutt led the Surrey side to promotion in last year’s 50 over County Championship before retiring from the game and making for 19-year-old Jones to take over.
That means Jones takes over with the Club in the top tier for both the 50 over and T20 competitions and the new captain, who led the T20 campaign last year, expects her team to perform better than many may be anticipating.
She said: “It’ll be a closely matched season. We’ve got a core group that have been the same for four or five years and that’s our massive advantage over some other sides.
“We’re so closely knit now and when Nat comes back in the fold it will be an added bonus rather than a case of us relying on her. We know where we stand and if we perform how we know we can we will take a lot of teams by surprise.
“Bedders [Richard Bedbrook, Head Coach] and I have a good line of communication and that means we can learn about ourselves very quickly. That will be sped up by the frequency of the games.”
While still finding her way in the role as captain, Jones is keen to ensure she presents herself as a skipper that players would love to play for while also fostering a winning mentality.
“I have spent a lot of time discussing with Bedders and our psychologist Julie about how I want to be perceived and how I want to come across within the side. I’m naturally quite black and white and will stick to the plan.
“I want to go with that as much as I can but make sure I am diplomatic throughout. Something Cecily was good at was taking everyone into account and gives the team much more energy than telling everyone what we’re going to do.
“One of my biggest traits is that I’m very competitive and want to win everything. I want to get that across to the girls and I think our effort levels throughout the winter have put is in a very good position to show grit during difficult moments on a game day.
With six years of experience at county level under her belt at the tender age of 19, Jones appreciates that exposure to this level will benefit her leadership.
“I took my experience for granted until this winter when asked ‘what would you do Hannah?’ and I started to realise I’ve seen most of these situations before. I’m certainly grateful for it now and hopefully it can help me in my captaincy.”
A player she has featured alongside for the vast majority of her career is Bryony Smith, who this winter earned her first England contract to the delight of Jones.
“It’s well deserved. Bryony’s always been one of those people that will do the hard yards consistently in the background and that’s been reflected in her performances. She’s now got a great chance to impress.
“People like Bryony gave us a glimpse of her talent, especially in this format and that’s something we can tap into this year. I also think that we’re a lot clearer in our bowling plans because we’ve put a lot of work into this over the winter so I hope that we get the rewards for that.”