Giles White has tasked Hampshire with gaining early momentum next season after the release of the 2015 fixtures.
Hampshire will mark their return to next season’s Championship division one with a home derby clash against south coast neighbours Sussex on April 12, 2015.
But it’s a tough opening for the club, with a clash at Warwickshire, a home showdown with Nottinghamshire and a visit to Yorkshire all in the first month of the new campaign.
And the club’s director of cricket knows the whole season could be shaped by the way they start.
White said: ‘A lot of the sides are very evenly matched but it’s all about getting some momentum.
‘The start is very important and every side will be looking at that first month or so and looking for that early momentum.
‘There isn’t much between the sides and some early results can make a big difference.’
The Ageas Bowl outfit sealed the division two title and their return to the top flight in the final fixture of last season with a famous victory at Glamorgan.
Hampshire will complete their season with a Championship trip to Nottinghamshire on September 22.
But White expects a big step up in standard that the team will have to cope with as they return to the top flight.
‘It seems a long way off at the moment but it’s nice to see the shape of the fixtures,’ he said.
‘You look at the depths of the squads in division one and it’s a lot deeper.
‘But we are looking forward to it.
‘It’s a fresh challenge and we’ve got an exciting start against our local rivals Sussex.
‘It’s a good fixture to start the season and it’s nice to be at home.
‘We know we are playing against some strong sides all the way through the season.
‘The team played very well last year to get promoted and, if we can keep our players fit, we have got a good chance of competing.’
Hampshire’s quest to reach Natwest T20 Blast finals day will once again start with a home showdown against Essex on May 15.
And after their struggles in the 50-over competition last season, they will be looking for big improvements when that challenge gets under way on July 27 with a home tie against Sussex.
There are also at least two trips to Lord’s for Hampshire players and fans to look forward to with a t20 and Championship clash against Middlesex both staged at the home of cricket.
White added: We’ve got two trips to Lord’s – one in the t20 and one in the Championship – and we are excited about that. It’s a great place to play.’
Skipper Jimmy Adams said: ‘Every side we come up against in division one will be a tough fixture but it’s nice to get Sussex first up and being at home is a big bonus.
‘You look at every team we are going to face and it’s an exciting challenge and one that we are all very much looking forward to.
‘You could say it is a tricky start but we know that if we go well during that period then it puts us into a great position for the rest of the season.
‘We had great support last season and there are loads of fixtures for our fans to look forward to in 2015.’