Sidley Cricket Club is aiming to be back among the frontrunners during the 2011 season.
The Gullivers-based outfit had to settle for sixth in Sussex Division Three (East) last summer having finished third and been in with an outside chance of the title on the final day 12 months previously.
Captain Scott Woodroffe said: “I think we’re just looking to finish top three or four I would say. It’s a difficult league to win, but if we can keep ourselves within shouting distance with three or four games to go, who knows.
“We’ve got quite a good balance to our team. On paper, if everyone’s available for the majority of the games, we look pretty strong so I think we’ll be a good match for a lot of the teams in this division.”
As well as the signing of John Haffenden this week, another reason for optimism is the exciting capture of Paul Swannell, a former Minor Counties cricketer with Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire.
Hastings Priory skipper Adam Maharaj-Newman tipped Swannell to take 50-60 wickets after facing him in Sidley’s opening friendly a fortnight ago and the 30-year-old made 90 with the bat against Robertsbridge last weekend.
“He’s going to be a good player for us there’s no doubt about it,” continued Woodroffe. “But we can’t just turn up every Saturday expecting him to do all the work, there’s plenty of others that are good enough.”
Sidley expect to field a similar line-up for the league opener away to last year’s runners-up Burgess Hill tomorrow (Saturday).