NEW Zealander Brad Schmulian is delighted to be the new Woodlands captain, as he gets set to lead his team into a big away double header.

Schmulian led from the front last weekend in Woodlands' Bradford Premier League Premier Division opener against title rivals Townville, taking 5-22 as his side edged a last-ball thriller by three wickets.

Today sees league game number two for the reigning champions at local rivals Bradford & Bingley, before tomorrow's rematch with Townville, this time in the Heavy Woollen Cup.

On getting the chance to lead Woodlands, having first joined in 2019, Schmulian said: "I am proud of being captain.

"I've had personal success and we've had some as a team since I arrived too. I'm excited about the future and it's great the club sees me as part of it.

"It was an honour to be able to lead the team out last weekend in front of all of our supporters."

Asked why he had taken Woodlands to his heart, Schmulian said: "It's a good group of people here.

"Not just the first team either, but the likes of the second team, the supporters and (secretary) Brian Pearson.

"Brian has been so supportive and understanding in helping me during the Covid pandemic, with all the travel, cost and testing issues I've had."

He added: "I also met my now-fiancée here, as she's from Harrogate.

"That partly explains my decision to keep coming back to Yorkshire, but another reason is the success we've had here.

"It's been impressive what we've achieved since I arrived (two league titles and a Priestley Cup) but we have the opportunity to get even better."

And what better way to prove themselves by getting a second win over Townville in nine days this Sunday.

The Woodlands skipper said: "We finished first and second last year, and they're arguably our biggest rivals.

"We know how high-quality they are from when we've met before.

"Last Saturday we were decent without being fantastic and a bad last few overs with the bat nearly cost us.

"But good teams find a way to win and we might look back on it as a big game come the end of the season.

"The mindset would have felt different if we hadn't got the W."

Schmulian dismissed the prospect of a psychological advantage over Townville if Woodlands win again tomorrow, saying: "We beat them a couple of times early on last season, but they got us back towards the end of the year.

"I don't think last week will have dented their confidence, because they'll play hard no matter what. It's a tough challenge whenever we play them.

"But if we can get another win against them this weekend, it will give us confidence in beating other teams going forward."

As for the derby at B&B today, Schmulian said: "We've not faced Bradford & Bingley at Wagon Lane since I arrived because of the weather, so it'll be nice to play at a different ground.

"They looked impressive last weekend (in beating Pudsey St Lawrence by seven wickets) so we'll need to be on our game.

"We have confidence from last weekend, and with the good weather, it's benefitted us training outside.

"But with the names on their teamsheet, we won't be taking Bradford & Bingley lightly."