Bourne Cricket Club will rely on home-grown talent and not an overseas star this season, skipper Pete Morgan revealed this week.
After the service of visiting professionals including record-breaking Fahad Masood in recent years, the club plans to build its future with players closer to home.
“I do not think we will have an overseas player,” said the Bourne batsman, who will skipper the first team for the fourth straight year this summer.
He said: “It’s a club with a lot of young players and we are looking for these players to stay around.
“If you have an overseas player they usually go home again at some point and you are left looking for someone else.
“We are looking for players like Conrad Louth, Ben Stroud and Carl Wilson to provide the foundation and then want five or six who will be there for years – top-line batsmen and bowlers.”
And Morgan has already begun to assemble the side that will mount Bourne’s challenge on two fronts in the summer – the Lincolnshire Premier League on Saturdays and the Rutland League on Sundays.
Bourne have drafted in opening bowler Colin Cheer from Boston, who were relegated from the Lincolnshire Premier League last summer.
“We were aware that we were a bit light on the bowling front last year,” added Morgan.
“He brings a lot of experience. He’s played there for about 10 years and plays for Lincolnshire.
“Hopefully we’ll have a couple of young players joining us as well.
“James Keywood is in Australia right now but has done well for Belvoir in the Notts division one – hopefully he’ll join us.
“We are also hoping Will Edwards will join us on Saturdays. He has played on Sundays but has been playing for Syston in the Leicestershire League on Saturdays.”
If all goes to plan, Bourne will be well prepared for the start of the season with Oundle visiting the Abbey Lawn on April 14 and the visit of Sleaford to kick off the Lincolnshire League season six days later.
Training is already under way with nets sessions at Witham Hall School. New players are always welcome to join the club with senior training at 5pm on Sundays.
Junior training is due to begin in February. Full details to follow.
l Find out who the Bourne skipper fancies as this summer’s front-runners in next week’s paper.