EMLEY CLARENCE have unveiled two massive new signings as they bid to consolidate their newly-won place in the Drakes League Premiership.
Yorkshire's Matthew Wood and Micklehurst's excellent Pakistani all-rounder Bilal Khilji have both joined the Welfare Ground club, who last season won the Frank Platt Conference to seal a place in the top flight for the first time in their short Drakes League history.
Both are huge captures for Emley, although Wood, who has helped Honley take back-to-back League Championship titles, may not be available for many matches, given Yorkshire's current state.
Last season, the Yorkshire opener fell out of both form and favour with the county's selectors, and ended up playing eight League matches for Honley (almost a third).
But with Darren Lehmann, Michael Lumb and seemingly Anthony McGrath all on their way, Yorkshire will certainly need all the experience they can get their hands on, and it would be a big surprise if Emley-born Wood is not pencilled in to start the county's 2007 campaign.
"All the lads at Emley are friends of Matthew, and naturally we want him to do well with Yorkshire and play for them as often as possible," said club spokesman Simon Sykes.
"But obviously we would also like him to play for us when available, because he should make us competitive.
"His level of commitment is superb, and he has already been involved at winter nets and is genuinely interested in the welfare of the club."
Last season Wood scored two centuries for Honley (120 v Elland and 115 v Kirkheaton) as well as an unbeaten 72 against Barkisland, and Emley will be hoping for something similar from the player who began his cricket career as a junior at Emley.
Khilji is a much different proposition, however.
The talented WAPDA player is expected to play a major role all season after moving from Micklehurst, where he disappointed with the bat last summer.
Having taken the League by storm the previous year in the Conference when he finished on top of the batting averages with almost 1,400 runs at 77 and a top score of 174, he failed to register a single ton last season, although he did finish with almost 750 runs and 67 wickets - not too bad a return for his first season in the top flight!
"There is a real buzz around the club at the moment," added Sykes.
"Promotion has certainly generated a lot of interest, and further strengthening is not out of the question.
"We are also looking to beef up the second team with the aim of getting them into Premiership Two, while we could be on the verge of revealing some exciting plans off the field as well."