Sarisbury eye promotion with high-profile recruits

Sarisbury signings Mark Miller, Pete Hammond and David Banks

Sarisbury signings Mark Miller, Pete Hammond and David Banks

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Sarisbury Athletic will be the team to watch as Southern Electric Premier League division three rumbles into life this weekend.

The Allotment Road side finished last term in eighth place but have drafted in some eye-catching winter recruits to boost their prospects.

Former Totton pair Dave Banks and Jonathan ‘Archie’ Norris both have a wealth of experience at a higher level, as does all-rounder Mark Miller who has switched from Havant.

Adam Sharpe, a former Rowledge player, has also joined up.

Sarisbury have added around 1,500 runs per season to their ranks after Banks (631), Norris (443) and Miller (426) featured in the premier division batting averages last term and enjoyed productive seasons.

And Sarisbury skipper Pete Hammond is hopeful they will bring the necessary quality to the side to make a genuine promotion challenge.

Hammond said: ‘We want to have a real go at it this season.

‘We’ve brought in some quality players who will definitely improve us. The aim is to eventually get into the top division because we all want to see how far we can go.

‘But it’s a long way off at the moment.

‘All we can do it concentrate on winning each game as we go along and we’re looking to make a decent start and see how we get on.

‘With the players we already had, we came close to getting into the promotion race last season.

‘So now we have managed to add three players all of division one standard we should be there or thereabouts come the end of the season.’

The club have also been keen to improve their home venue with one eye on possible promotion.

And they have been supported by Fareham Borough Council to rebuild the changing facilities and smarten up the clubhouse.

Hammond, who takes charge for his second season as skipper, leads the side into their curtain-raiser against South Wilts II tomorrow.

And they are in confident mood after a demolition of Tichborne Park in a pre-season friendly.

He said: ‘We bowled really well and everyone looks confident.

‘We’re all champing at the bit to start the season.

‘We all know there is a really long way to go and that’s a very hard division to get out of.

‘But you have to set targets and ours is definitely to get ourselves into the promotion frame.’

Sarisbury: Archie Norris, Chris Mottola, Pete Hammond, Dave Banks, Mark Miller, James Ingram, Matt Journeaux, Phil Jewell, Andy Reading, Adam Sharpe, Michael Bond.

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