A cricketing sojourn to Horowhenua is coming to a close for a young Englishman who is following the sun.
Henry Dobson, 19, is packing his bags for his homeland after spending the summer season with Weraroa at the invitation of the Levin-based club.
Dobson hadn't seen a winter in 18 months and fulfilled a dream to play cricket all year round.
The allrounder had become a key feature in the Weraroa senior side and would be looking for a winning send-off when his team play Levin Old Boys in the Horowhenua-Kāpiti two-day final at Donnelly Park tomorrow.
LOB were heavily favoured to win the match, but Dobson said his side were capable of an upset and he would love to leave on a winning note and with a trophy in the cabinet.
Dobson had played cricket since he was four and made Cheshire, Lancashire and Leicester age-grade teams, and followed in his father's footsteps by playing for Tattenhall at club level.
He was introduced to cricket by his father Melvin who played for the Tattenhall club senior side for many seasons as a spinner.
The Tattenhall club had strong links to New Zealand with several players from this country making it a base.
"It has strong links to New Zealand and players from here have been going there for
years. I was always practising with them and netting with them and I just liked the sound of New Zealand," he said.
Dobson said he liked the sound of New Zealand so much he put his name on an agent database. So why Levin?
There were other clubs from main city centres that had shown interest, but their responses were vague, compared to that of a multi-page response from Weraroa club captain Brett Cole.
"He laid it all out there for me and I liked the sound of it and went for it," he said.
"It's been a good experience...the lifestyle and the people I have met. I've met quite a few interesting characters and become friends with them," he said.
"It's been good enough to not miss home too much. It's hard to compare to cricket in England. The whole lay-out is different. In a region the same size as Horowhenua-Kāpiti where I am from there would be 50 teams."
Dobson had been a hit with young players from all ages that he had coached over the summer, both boys and girls, often giving one-on-one tuition.
In a net session with youngsters one boy asked Dobson if he would have time for one more one-on-one session before he left, as there were things he wanted to work on.
"Of course, no worries," he said.
The Dobson family holidayed in New Zealand for a couple of weeks during the summer and managed to travel and take in tourist attractions, including white-water rafting in Rotorua.
Meanwhile, the question was asked did he manage to find a love interest during his stay that might tempt him to return to next season.
"No," he said, laughing. "I think everyone expected me to. I think everyone tried..."