DARWEN skipper John Cordingley says he is delighted prodigious teenage talent Alex Davies is still at Birch Hall – but admits it is only a matter of time before the wicketkeeper/batsman heads off to the professional game.

Davies had a taste of Lancashire senior action last season when he kept wicket for the Red Rose in a CB40 game with Glamorgan.

And captain Cordingley knows there will be many more glory days for the 17-year-old starlet.

“I am delighted Alex is still with us,” said Cordingley. “He is a terrific player and it can only be a matter of time before he heads off to the county game.

“But for the time being he is still with us – and that’s a major boost.”

Davies will take to the field for the Towers in tomorrow’s opener with Lancaster at Birch Hall as Darwen aim to start 2012 in style.

Professional Shaun de Kock has not yet arrived so Darwen turn to Lancashire’s former Rishton pro Andre Agathangelou for the clash. Chorley are aiming to follow up last season’s third-placed finish and begin their campaign against Fleetwood at Windsor Park.

Skipper Andy Houldsworth is looking forward to the campaign and said: “There is no reason why we cannot secure a form of silverware this year, we certainly have the players to do so and we won’t sit back on last year.”