Jacob Smith believes his Eastbourne side have the talent to be competing for the Sussex Cricket League Premier Division title this season.
Eastbourne won the August Cup last season and hope to be challenging for the league title this year.
They kick off their campaign tomorrow away at Preston Nomads and follow that up by hosting reigning champions Roffey a week later.
But Smith is confident his team have what it takes to do well. He said: “Nomads and Roffey in our first two games is definitely a pretty tough start but we’ve got to play them at some point.
“It’ll still be a long season after them so we won’t be getting carried away whichever way it goes.
“The squad is very much the same as last season. We’ve had a similar nucleus of players for the past few seasons who have started to produce good results so it’s great we’ve been able to keep everyone together.
“Last season was very productive, as well as winning the T20 final back in 2019, so we want to keep that momentum rolling and see where it takes us.
“We’ve got the talent and matchwinners in our team to be competing at the right end of the table.”
And Smith still believes their second opponents are the ones to watch.
He said: “Roffey are probably still the team to beat, I’d say. We’ve had two close games with them in the past two years and come out on the right side of the result; they could have easily gone the other way though, so we’re under no illusions. I think the usuals like Preston Nomads and East Grinstead will be there or thereabouts too.”
Smith missed some of the August Cup last season with Ben Twine takingover ther captaincy. And he believes he will be one of the stars again this season. “Ben Twine stepped up to the captaincy really impressively. I think his consistency with the ball and the leadership he brings will be crucial to us.”
Smith’s side got off to a winning start in their defence of the T20 Cup, beating Crowhurst Park at The Saffrons. Smith said: “It was definitely nice to get the season off to a winning start. Pre-season was good.
“We’d have obviously liked to have some winter training but we’ve had to make the best of the situation. I can’t wait to be back playing proper competitive league cricket to be honest.”