Bedhampton Mariners are determined to put the disappointments of recent seasons behind them when they open their Hampshire League division two season at Fair Oak IIs tomorrow.
The ambitious Mariners have missed out on promotion in the past couple of years and want to put that right.
Manager Craig Stainton feels the club possess greater depth heading into this term.
Bedhampton have been boosted by the return of Harry Hovey.
The batsman represented Bromley last season in the Kent Premier League but work commitments mean he’s returned to the area.
Stainton reckons his capture is a massive coup for the club.
He said: ‘There were a number of premier division clubs chasing Harry.
‘He decided, however, to come back to his local club where his granddad, father and uncles play.
‘It is fantastic news for us. Harry should prove a massive asset for us in our bid to get promoted.
‘He has good experience of playing at a good level of cricket.
‘We believe we have a side more than capable of challenging for promotion this term.
‘Last season we were hit by injuries and players being unavailable.
‘We struggled when we couldn’t field our strongest side.
‘To try to solve that problem we have strengthened our second team
‘This should give us more strength in depth.’
Apart from Hovey, the Mariners will be looking for runs from their top five in their batting order.
Martin Hovey, captain Alex Whitfield, Harry Robbins – who has arrived from Portchester – and Hayden Sole are all capable of scoring runs.
Robbins will also play an important part in the Mariners’ bowling unit.
He will join Alex Gardiner and Justin Bennett, who will spearhead the attack after returning to the Mariners.
They will be backed up by Harry Hovey, Scott Chilton and Sam Robinson.
Stainton is adamant Bedhampton are ready to move up the Hampshire League ladder.
There are plenty of developments happening on and off the field to ensure the club progresses in the right way.
‘Things are changing massively behind the scenes,’ added Stainton.
‘We are working to launch and develop a colts structure.
‘New changing rooms have been provided by the council at Bidbury Mead.
‘There is also a good social side at the club.’
Bedhampton Mariners: Alex Whitfield, Harry Hovey,
Hayden Sole, Scott Chilton, Danny Clark, Sam Robinson,
Martin Hovey, Rich Higgins, Justin Bennett, Harry Robbins.