COLCHESTER and East Essex Cricket Club stalwart Julian Russell insists he remains as hungry as ever to score runs for the club.

The Australian batsman, who has just started his 15th season at the club, has been prolific for the Castle Park side over the years.

Russell started off the new Shepherd Neame Essex League division one season in potent form after hitting an unbeaten 92 in Colchester’s convincing opening-day win over Loughton.

And ahead of their trip to play Southend on Sea tomorrow, the newly-installed Director of Cricket says he is as enthusiastic as ever.

Russell told the Daily Gazette: “I love scoring runs and if I contribute in that way, in addition to the role of Director of Cricket.

“It’s my 15th season at Colchester and I feel a part of the furniture but at the same time, just as excited about the new season as when I first arrived.

“If you weren’t excited at this time of the season, you would have to question what you’d signed up for.

“It’s an exciting time of the year and part of my job as Director of Cricket is to make sure that everyone is up for the start of the season and singing from the same song sheet.

“Colchester is the best club I’ve played for around the world and the beauty of cricket is that you never know what’s going to happen.”

Russell will be keeping a closer eye on Colchester’s up-and-coming young talent, as part of his new role as Director of Cricket.

And he insists he will would love nothing more for the club’s fledgling stars to oust him from the team, if they show the right potential.

“For myself and the other experienced players, it’s great to play for as long as you can while you still get a buzz to play,” he said.

“But if there are young guys coming through and challenging, I’d love nothing more than for them to elbow me out of the team.”

Colchester will be looking to make it two wins out of two tomorrow when they travel to play Southend on Sea.

In Second XI division one, Colchester’s second team host Southend II at Castle Park.

Andrew Kennedy’s side played out a draw with Loughton II, in their opening league game of the season last weekend.