Bexhill Cricket Club is targeting an instant return to the Sussex Premier Division under new captain Chris Topp.
The Polegrove-based side will begin life back in Division Two at home to Stirlands tomorrow (Saturday), and although the squad is less experienced than that of last year, Bexhill are setting the bar high.
First team manager Hamish Russell said: “We should be looking to go up. As a group of young men, they should be setting themselves the highest standards they can.”
Sussex professionals Mike Chadwick and Monty Panesar won’t feature this summer following Bexhill’s relegation in 2010, Toby Finzel has returned to Hastings Priory, Richard May has emigrated to Australia and Jez Reid has gone back to Battle due to work commitments.
Although Bexhill have signed wicketkeeper/batsman Jack Richardson from Eastbourne, Hastings second team all-rounder Tom Powell and Battle youngster Josh Beeslee, the departures have opened the door for some of the talented youngsters from the club’s hugely successful second team.
“We’re a very young team and we’ve not got the luxury of having a playing budget,” continued Russell. “We’ve lost some players and there comes a time when these guys have got to have a full run at it.
“Realistically we want to see where we can go. We’ve got good juniors at this club. It might take five or six games, but having seen them in the nets, we all know they can do it.”
Richardson and Malcolm Johnson, who scored 82 for the second team in a 42-run success against their Sibton Park counterparts last weekend, will come into the equation tomorrow. Play will start at 1pm.