TORQUAY skipper Justin Yau has set out his agenda for the season ahead in the Premier Division.
“We are going to play hard and play positive cricket,” said Yau, whose side entertain new boys Bradninch on Saturday.
Torquay were defending champions last summer but were never in the running to regain the title, which went to Sidmouth.
Yau never normally undersells his side, but such was Sidmouth’s domination last summer he sees them as a tough team to topple.
“Mid-table was about right for us last year as although we played some great cricket we didn’t play enough of it,” said Yau.
“Looking round the Premier it is hard to see who will take the title off Sidmouth, not that we won’t be trying.
“Sidmouth are doing what we all aspire to: winning things with a largely home-grown side who are a good bunch of lads too.”
Former Central Districts spinner Dan Wightman is on his way back to the Recreation Ground this summer in Torquay’s new-look side.
British passport holder Wightman had a decent season with Torquay in 2013, taking 31 Premier wickets in the low 20s.
He spent 2014 and part of 2015 playing for Harpenden in the Hertfordshire County League. Injury limited his appearances in 2015 to just eight games.
Torquay’s overseas player for the season ahead is South African Cody Gertze.
“Cody is still involved in domestic cricket at home and will miss our first three games,” said Yau.
Torquay lost opener Reid Mawdsley during the winter – he left for Heathcoat – and since then Sach Galhenage has informed the club he isn’t coming over from South Africa for a third season.
In coming are Tom Drake, an all-rounder from Barton, and Alex Fannon, a Devonian living in Australia who wants to play cricket on home turf.
Seamer Ben Williams is unlikely to play often as he is in London and dual-registered with Richmond. He will feature from time to time, along with big-hitter Matt Hickey, who has made himself available after time away from the game.
Torquay didn’t see a lot of Ryan Stevenson last season as he was injured playing for Hampshire, who kept him under wraps.
Yau hasn’t ruled out Stevenson making a guest appearance here and there if his employers agree.