BOVEY Tracey’s returning captain Peter Bradley is determined this season is going to be better than the last.
Sam Hickinbottom’s departure from the club for a job in the Midlands left the captaincy up for grabs.
Bradley has taken it on a third time and is looking to take Bovey up among the challengers again. Last season they were an unimpressive fourth from bottom, 21 points clear of the second relegation place.
Bradley has been on a recruiting and retention campaign over the winter and feels the assembled squad is one that can challenge the best in the division.
“Availability is the big thing for us and keeping players going all season,” said Bradley.
“We have seen the last of Malcolm Lake – he’s playing Combined Universities cricket and looking for county 2nd XI stuff later – and Sam as well.
“The signings we have made and the players who have committed to play regular this season make me feel confident of doing well.”
Top of the recruited list is Zimbabwean international all-rounder Luke Jongwe, who is going to arrive a couple of weeks into the season – good news for Exeter who host Bovey this Saturday.
“Luke has got four First Class 50s and two tons and has been timed through the speed gun bowling at 138 kmph,” said Bradley.
“Ryan Bougourd is back after his break at Shaldon and eager to bowl in Premier cricket again.
“Some real good news for us is that Sam Wyatt-Haines wants to play seriously again.
“Sam hasn’t played much since leaving Somerset two years ago, but has already made a 50 and 170 for Exeter University this year and looks in good touch. He is also going to do some coaching, more good news.”
Early order batter Josh Mailling has switched from Plympton to play Premier cricket again.
Old stagers Ben Ayres, Andy Fairbairn and former Devon captain Chris Bradley, have said they will be regularly available too.
With county bowlers Hugo Whitlock and Toby Codd on the roster too, never mind up-and-commers such as Tom Andrew and Ashley Causey, Bovey look better than just mid-table.