PAIGNTON didn’t last long the last time they were in the Premier Division, dropping back to the A Division after just one season.

Paignton have been up and down three times since 2008, never staying up longer than a couple of seasons (2010-11).

New captain Richard Ashworth said what he has learned from previous Premier experiences is that fine margins make a difference.

“When we have been up before we have lost games by small  margins that we really should have won,” said Ashworth.

“It only takes a few wins in games like that to make a big difference to the way the season goes.

“Most of the squad for this season has been this way before and knows what to expect – and what is expected of them.

“With a couple of years extra experience behind us, and a decent overseas player, we are better prepared for those tight situations.”

A big bonus for Ashworth and the team is the return of pace bowling all-rounder George Benton, who left midway through the 2015 season for Australia and has recently returned home.

“George hasn’t been playing cricket while he has been away, but it won’t take long for him to get back in the groove,” said Ashworth.

“Having George back is like having a second overseas player in the team.”

Paignton’s overseas player this season is Tristan Coetzee an 18-year-old batsman from Cape Town who bowls a bit of off-spin.

Ashworth has Devon batter Dan Wolf for most of the summer once the university term ends and is expecting a full season out of match-changing all-rounder Chris Kelmere.

Watch out for young spinners Harry Ward and Sam Woodcock, along with batter Luke Medlock, all of whom are keen to break into the side this year.

The season starts away to defending champions Sidmouth – a tall order for the first game back.

“Any game against Sidmouth is going to be tough, whenever it is played, but we will be up for it,” said Ashworth.

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