THE new Tolchards Devon League season is barely a month away and clubs at all levels are putting finishing touches to their squads.
Defending champions Bovey Tracey have signed Sri Lankan Minhau Jalill – an off-spinning all-rounder – to replace Zimbabwean Luke Jongwe.
Jalill, who is 23, plays First Class cricket for Saracens SC in the top tier of domestic cricket.
Bovey’s second summer signing is keeper-batter Sean Dalliston, who plays Grade cricket in New South Wales with Fairfield/Liverpool.
The 22 year old holds a UK passport and is set to challenge Lewis Hammett for the keeping gloves.
Bovey are waiting to find out whether Devon all-rounder Matt Golding is coming home from Australia in time for the season, or part of it.
Golding didn’t return home last week – and the messages filtering through are he won’t be back for a while.
Batter Josh Mailling, who made nearly 600 runs in the title-winning team, has only committed himself to the first half of the season as he has a new job starting in July.
Charlie Sheen has a possible move to Bradninch in the pending tray.
There have been a couple of ins at Sidmouth where batters Elliot Rice and Tristan Kawalek signed forms.
Left-hander Rice has made the short trip over the hill from Budleigh Salterton, were he has been a regular fixture in the A Division side’s early order since 2011.
Kawalek, a student at the University of Exeter, has been playing for Matlock in the Derbyshire League.
An old face back at the Fortfield this season is keeper-batsman Tom Wainwright, who last played for Sidmouth in 2005. He has been living in Bournemouth since then.
Sidmouth hope to complete the signing of Ben Sapiecha by the time the new season starts.
Sapiecha, currently with Exeter, has played up through the Devon age groups to under-17 level.
Plymouth, where Dan Robotham has already signed from Plymstock to keep wicket, have other signings in the pipeline to announce before the season starts.
Sandford have recruited all-rounder Chris Simpson from neighbours Shobrooke Park.
The 38-year-old Australian, a long-term resident in Crediton, has skippered Shobrooke for the past couple of seasons.
Sandford have yet to confirm an overseas player for their first season back in the top flight as their number one target has dropped out.
“The player we had in mind was told by his franchise he was not allowed to travel,” said Sandford skipper Richard Foan.
Paignton, who dropped out of the Premier Division at the end of last season, have lost former captain Connor Bryan to Stoke Gabriel.
Batter Bryan, who is dropping down four divisions, has a new business venture about to launch and can’t commit to A Division cricket.
Paignton anticipate seamer George Yates will follow Bryan to Stoke Gabriel, who have Jack Tolley back from 18 months in Australia to captain the side.
With free-scoring Andy Kingdon also recruited from Babbacombe, and an overseas player lined-up, Stoke seem intent on keeping their D Division sojourn to a minimum.
Former Devon batsman Simon Edwards, who was with Stoke Gabriel last season, has switched to Barton of the B Division for the season ahead.
Barton needed some good news on the player front as young Cole Harford has signed for Paignton (subject to Barton releasing him) and Ian Jarman is Abbotskerswell’s new wicketkeeper.
Barton’s new overseas player is Matt Crompton, a young South Africa all-rounder from Maritzburg College, Pietermaritzburg.