Terry Perry has challenged Old Buckenham to at least match last season’s third-place finish as they get set for the new campaign tomorrow.
Having enjoyed a close-season break Bucks head back into Norfolk Cricket Alliance Premier Division action in the hardest possible fashion by welcoming last season’s champions Fakenham (1pm).
But despite 58 points separating the two teams at the end of last season, skipper Perry has not ruled out an early season upset as he sets his sights on another impressive campaign for his side.
“We were all really pleased with how last season went,” he said.
“We managed to bring a couple of the younger lads through into the first team and they did really well for us.
“Finishing third was an amazing achievement for the club and hopefully we can at least match that this season.
“However, we know there are a lot of very good sides in this division so we know it will be difficult.
“None more so than Fakenham who we face on Saturday in what will be a very difficult game.
“We all know how important it is to get off to a good start but the league is so tight it can be impossible to predict.
“We couldn’t have asked for a more difficult opening game but hopefully we can catch them cold and they may have an off day.
“All I am certain about is that we are all raring to go and looking forward to the season starting again.”
The core of last season’s squad remains including key players James Heaney, Rob Austin, Paul Fitt, Andrew Lawrence and Tom Alexander, who finished top of the bowling averages for the club.
Bucks have lost Matt Long and Rob Goodwin while last season’s overseas player Trent Crittenden has returned to Australia.
However, reinforcements have been added with Lewis Holden and Jack Grant arriving at the club along with new overseas player James Deacon from Australia, of whom Perry is expecting a major contribution this season from the 23-year-old.
“James has arrived from Sydney and is a batsmen and off-spin bowler,” he added.
“He is a very good batsmen and will bat at number three so pretty high up the order.
“It can be difficult for the overseas players to adjust when they first come over but James has had a couple of weeks getting used to the conditions and he looks a very good player.
“We’re all hopeful he can impress and have a big impact.”