Market Overton Cricket Club has begun nets training, ahead of what skipper Mark Hudson predicts will be a transition year for the club.
Marko were relegated from the Rutland League’s top tier at the end of the last season, and a mid-table position at the end of the summer would delight Hudson, who said: “It’s always difficult to tell how you’ll do.
“If all the seniors perform well we could challenge but mid-table would be more likely.
“There is a massive gulf between the divisions and we have lost a few players who moved away.”
Marko must adjust to life in division two without Australian Bradley Apps and Dil Yahathagoda, who has returned to Sri Lanka after several years with the club.
Hudson said: “It’s a transition that every team goes through from time to time.
“We will miss Dil’s enthusiasm but we still have players like Brian Makwana, Paul Thwaites, Darren Munton.
“Ryan Thwaites came though last year and we expect him to keep progressing. We just need a few of the younger players to come through.
“Robert McHugh played a few first team games last year - I think he will make a very good batsman - and Luke Bailey, who played a lot for the seconds could make the step up.”
There is also the possibility that Marko will pick up another Aussie recruit closer to the start of the season thanks to their close ties with Melbourne side Hopper’s Crossings.
In the meantime, training continues at Catmose Sports on Wednesdays from 8.15pm and Hudson would welcome any new players to join the squad. Friday evening junior training will begin in April.
Players wishing to join the club should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.