A summer of excitement lies ahead for Eaton Socon.
That’s the prediction from skipper Jonny Carpenter ahead of the new Cambs & Hunts Premier League campaign.
Carpenter’s men are gearing up for their third successive season at Whiting & Partners Division One level and he’s confident it will be one of significant progress.
They have finished safely in mid-table in the past two summers, but the major captures of local lad Joe Dawborn and highly-rated South African all-rounder Wade Lezar could see a young side climb considerably higher in the coming months.
Dawborn has returned to his hometown club as player-coach after a stunning spell at Peterborough Town in which he was the leading wicket-taker in the Northants Premier Division for four successive seasons, while Lezar has played to an excellent level in his homeland and also represented Derbyshire 2nds on these shores
Carpenter said: “We’ve now established ourselves in Division One over the past two years and I’d like to think we can challenge to be in the top four this season.
“We’ve definitely got the bowling attack to knock teams over with Joe and Wade on board. It’s not just Joe’s wickets that will be valuable to us, though - it’s also what he’ll add to the other bowlers at the club with his experience and coaching ability.
“Overseas players at our level often tend to be young and naïve, but in Wade we are lucky to have someone who is the finished article and I’m sure that will be a huge benefit.
“But it is also important we do the job with the bat. We need a few more runs than last year as a team and that’s something we will look to improve on.
“It’s always hard to predict what might happen in cricket. I’m sure the usual teams will be strong and I certainly don’t expect any side to run away with it.”
Eaton Socon have twice seen the start of the season delayed.
League bosses postponed all fixtures scheduled for last weekend due to recent wet weather and the club’s intended opponents this Saturday – Nassington – have pulled out of the competition.
It means Carpenter’s young side – which is only likely to contain two players aged over 30 - will finally get into action on April 28 at Foxton.
And the Eaton Socon skipper is only too happy to give the club’s youngsters a chance to shine.
One such player – Olly Jefferies – is likely to feature at just 14 years of age this summer. He took four wickets when making his first-team debut in the final game of last season.
Eaton Socon will also have other teenagers such as pace bowler Joe Watling and wicket-keeping batsman Adam White in their line-up.
Carpenter added: “There’s the famous quote that you don’t win anything with kids, but that’s not something I agree with. If a player has the ability his age is irrelevant.
“We’re very proud of the way we create players and we have no hesitation in giving them a chance to impress. If we don’t, other clubs will.”