SQUAD building is under way in earnest at Bradninch ready for the start of the new season.
Bradninch finished second behind champions Bovey Tracey last season – a more than respectable effort for their first season back in Devon’s top flight.
Aussie all-rounder Matt Foster – 906 runs, 23 wickets – won’t be part of the picture at Kensham Park this season.
Foster’s runs and wickets need replacing and Bradninch skipper Gary Chappell hopes an as yet un-named Zimbabwean will do that job.
Definitely on board for 2018 are the two Burns brothers from Lewdown – batter Kian and bowler Tallan – along with clubmate Leon Horn.
Spinner Horn was a Devon U17 player last season. Tallan Burns played age-group cricket for the county in 2013 at under-13 level.
Charlie Sheen, an explosive batter on his day, was part of Bovey Tracey’s Premier-winning squad last season but only appeared in six games. He has moved in search of more regular first team cricket.
Max Mortimer, a student at the University of Exeter, has experience in the WEPL with Lechlade and has also played for Falkland in Newbury, Aston Rowant and through the Berkshire age-groups.
Mortimer is billed as a bowling all-rounder who will be available for the first six or seven games.
Skipper Chappell is happy with the recruiting drive so far, although he still has one item on the wish list to cross out.
“We would have liked to have recruited another local batter, but it’s proving hard to get players to move,” said Chappell.
“There's so much wasted talent around, seemingly happy playing 2nd XI cricket or falsely promised things, but that's just the way it is and we can’t help that.”
Bringing in five players as well as having a like-for-like overseas is a boost all round for Bradninch.
“We struggled for players last season and the 2nd XI took the brunt of it, so it’s nice that the club is in a stronger position going into this season,” said Chappell.
“We are looking to the future of the club and are keen to give opportunities to local young lads, as we did last season with Rory Thomas and Matt Parker.
“All in all I am happy where we're at. It's going to be a tough season with other sides strengthening, but I'm confident we will be at the right end of the table, providing we perform to our capabilities.”