Perry eyes a good start for Old Buckenham to push on

NEW SIGNING: Trent Crittenden in action during Old Buckenham's eight wicket friendly defeat against Downham
NEW SIGNING: Trent Crittenden in action during Old Buckenham's eight wicket friendly defeat against Downham

Old Buckenham captain Terry Perry believes a good start is crucial if they are to finish higher in the Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division.

Ahead of their season opener at home to Sprowston tomorrow (1pm), Perry has indicated that the signing of a new overseas player could be the key to bettering last season’s seventh-place finish.

“We’re all looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ve made a new overseas signing who we were keen to get in.

“There’s been no major losses to the squad, everyone is now a year older and a year wiser.”

Old Bucks have brought in Australian all-rounder Trent Crittenden for their latest campaign, with Garboldisham’s Chris Grimwood having also joined the squad.

And Perry believes the new recruits can help push Buckenham back up the table, after last season’s low finish followed back-to-back top four finishes.

“We absolutely want to finish higher,” the Bucks skipper said.

“If we can stay injury-free and start well, the confidence is up already.

“We’ve brought in Trent, who is an all-rounder from Sydney. And we’ve got some good youngsters coming through that will get game time this year.”

Australian all-rounder Marcus Glenister was ruled out for most of the 2014 season with a back injury, which put a dent in Buckenham’s early momentum.

“For all but four games last year we were without an overseas player through injury,” Perry said. “To not have an overseas player for three quarters of the season hurt us.”

Bucks began their last campaign by winning five of their opening six games, with Perry targeting another flying start this time round.

“They say you need as good a May as possible,” he said. “We’ve got three very tough fixtures to start the season, but if we can get some points from them it will set us up well.

“The league is getting stronger every year and is impossible to predict.

“There was 10 points between us (seventh) and fourth last year, and I expect it to be even closer this year.”

Perry’s side start off on home soil this weekend with the visit of Sprowston to Old Buckenham Hall, and Perry insists the two sides are in similar positions heading into the 2015 season.

“Sprowston are a good side who probably finished in a false position last year,” he said.

“We are in the same boat as them, and I think they will be looking to push on too.”

Old Buckenham have had mixed fortunes during pre-season, winning one and losing one of their two friendlies.

Rob Austin’s five-wicket haul and a half century from Perry secured an eight-wicket win against Division Two side Thetford two weeks ago, before Premier Division champions Downham thrashed Perry’s men by eight wickets last weekend.