WILL 2016 be the year Plymouth finally win the Premier Division title? Don’t bet against it.
Plymouth are the odd ones out among the founder members of the league still playing top-flight cricket as they have never won the title.
The city side have been runners-up twice, but the big prize has continually eluded them.
What’s different this year? Plymouth look a bit stronger and there is no obvious stand-out side in the division.
“I think it is very open,” said skipper Sam Stein, who is over the injury problems that blighted his 2015 season.
“Players like Hal Kerton have grown n confidence after a good season in 2015.
“I am looking to Joe Hagan-Burt (17) and Dan Goodey (18) to play full seasons and be contributors.
“Jake Luffman is over the knee problems that stopped him playing until the end of last season.
“And Hamish Gardner is back with us, this time for a full season.
“In the past we have started well and been a team to beat. Then we lose form and fall away. That’s something we have to address.”
Aussie-born Gardner played a handful of games in 2014 for Plymouth, then went back home to Scotland.
He is a current Scotland international with World Cup experience and is a big signing for Plymouth.
Just about gone from last year is Harry Ramsden, the off-spinning all-rounder who played for Essex 2nd XI before arriving at Mount Wise, He is working in London and unlike to play frequently.
The new overseas player is Anthony Atkinson, a batter first and foremost who bowls some off-spin.
His background is in Brisbane Grade cricket with Western Suburbs. He played in the UK for Weybridge in the Surrey Championship in 2011 and topped the 1,100-run mark.
Veteran fast bowler Dave Burke is officially 2nd XI captain this season, but Stein says that won’t be a block to the old warhorse playing 1st XI cricket if circumstances dictate.
Plymouth’s first game of the season is at home to Exeter.