Australian all-rounder Nathan Freitag will spearhead Slaithwaite’s challenge in the Drakes Huddersfield League Premiership this summer.

The 24-year-old from the respected Casey-South Melbourne club in Victoria is a left-arm pace bowler and top-order batsman who has been strongly recommended to the Hill Top establishment.

Following their Championship title and return to the top flight, all-rounder Chris Kilner has also gone back to Slaithwaite from Marsden while former Joe Lumb player Alex Walker, who started out at Linthwaite before joining Broad Oak, has also crossed the Colne Valley.

Slaithwaite cricket chairman Chris Payne explained: “We’ve heard very good things about Nathan Freitag, who has done well for a terrific club, represented Victoria at Under 23 and Second XI level and pushed himself to the verge of a first-class contract in Australia.

“Nathan was really highly recommended by Tim Welsford, who played with Golcar, and also other agents and coaches over there, so we are confident he will do a very good job for us.”

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Freitag had a top score of 138 last season in Victoria Premier Cricket, averaging over 30, and bowled almost 200 overs in all grades.

Kilner bowled over 250 overs for Marsden last season, taking 50 wickets at 21.64, and is well known for his dangerous hitting down the order.

“Chris is coming back to us as a genuine all-rounder and someone who is a ‘go to’ type of player, while Alex Walker has a lot of talent as a seam bowler and middle-order batter and we feel he will do well,” added Payne.

The Slaithwaite bowling attack will feature Freitag, Kilner, Dave Berry – 74 wickets last year at 11.80 – Tom Healey, Walker and left-arm spinner Tom Graham.

In the second XI, Slaithwaite are again promoting youth and have a new skipper in Tristan Jackson.

Seamer Harrison Quarmby (12) and leg spinner Jack Bower (13) are on Silver pathways with Yorkshire and will be given experience of second XI cricket this season.

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