FORMER Oxfordshire seamer Liam Manley believes joining Horspath will provide the platform to reignite his career.

The 27-year-old left-armer found himself playing 2nd XI cricket at Great & Little Tew last season as the first team were relegated from Home Counties Premier League Division 1.

Their fate was sealed by a dramatic ten-wicket defeat by Horspath on the final day of the season.

Keen to play in the top flight once more, the Banbury-based bowler is looking forward to a fresh start with Horspath, who stayed up with that last-gasp victory.

Manley, who has had two spells at both Banbury and Tew, said: “I think I fell out of favour at Tew last year.

“I need a new challenge and I’m really excited that it’s in the top flight.

“I feel I still have a lot to offer.

“I have had the experience of playing for two clubs at that level, and having been there, I can pass that on to other players and to the younger players.

“Having played a lot of Minor Counties cricket as well for a couple of years, and playing against ex-pros, going from that to playing 2nd team cricket last season I found it hard to motivate myself. Playing at that level I was beginning to lose interest in the game.”

Manley, who started out as a youngster at Middleton Cheney, was a member of Tew’s side, which won the Cherwell League in 2012 and claimed the Home Counties Division 2 title in 2015.

In 2014, he helped Oxfordshire win all four Unicorns Trophy Knockout group games – taking 5-49 in a four-wicket win over Herefordshire at Eastnor – before picking up an injury in the quarter-final victory over Cumberland, and missing out on the semi-final triumph over Wiltshire and the final defeat by Devon.

He also played five Minor Counties Championship games that season, but after just one Oxfordshire appearance the following year hasn’t been selected since.

“I still have aspirations to play Minor Counties cricket as well, which I feel I could do,” he added.

Horspath skipper Will Eason added: “He is a player who will add a lot of quality to our first-team squad.

“He is an outgoing character who wants to do well and sees this as a fresh challenge.”