Fareham & Crofton begin life back in Hampshire One with an awkward-looking local derby against Portchester at Cams School.
Last season’s relegation from Southern Electric League division three came as a big shock to Fareham & Crofton after four solid years at that level.
New captain Luke Gould is determined to lead the club back up at the first time of asking.
‘We are looking to bounce straight back up and are confident we have the players to do that,’ said Gould.
‘Last season wasn’t the greatest and getting relegated was disheartening.
‘Although it was a blow, our goal of getting up to silver level within five years is the same.
‘We are still a very young side and have retained 99-per-cent of our players.
‘Going back up won’t be easy and we know that from previous experience.
‘When we were here last, we were knocking on the door for years before finally making it.
‘When we did go up it was because we scored lots of runs and that’s what wins games at this level.
‘We have got lots of runs in our present team and a few old heads to help the youngsters through.’
Last season’s overseas player Brent Jarvis returns to the club looking to repeat his success of last summer.
The Western Australian scored more than 650 runs in division three and Gould is expecting another great campaign.
Jarvis proved a different class, technically correct on both front and back foot, coupled with some long and hard hitting.
Dan Berry and Ben Kissane are other excellent batting prospects, while Gould is looking to do better after experiencing a mediocre summer last time around.
The captain can also call upon the experience of players like Bob Marchant and Tim Dicks.
Gould recognises the importance of a good start but, at the same time, knows Portchester will be tricky opponents.
‘It is a tough start and we have to make sure we hit the ground running,’ said Gould.
‘We are straining at the leash to get started and there is a buzz around the team.
‘There is a burning desire to get out there and blow someone away.
‘Hopefully it will be Portchester feeling the full brunt of our fire-power.’
Fareham & Crofton: Luke Gould, Richie Webb, Ben Kissane, Brent Jarvis, Dan Berry, Gary Wylde, Chris Davey, Tim Dicks,
Bob Marchant, Danny Durandt, Chris Hillier.