ANY short list of A Division promotion candidates this season should have Bradninch on it, according to their captain.
The Kensham Park club have re-signed former captain Gary Chappell and added Aussie paceman Cameron Suidgeest and Argentinian all-rounder Lautaro Masini to their roster.
Chappell is back after three years at Exmouth where as a player he won a league title, a Devon Cup - and two Devon T20 titles as limited-overs team captain.
“Chaps is one of the most useful players in the county and with his experience he is able to add a lot tactically as well,” said skipper Tim Piper
Suidgeest has played for Australian Capital Territory U23s, for whom he has taken 16 wickets for 490 runs in seven outings with a best match return of 7-89 against South Australia at Canberra.
Lautaro, a batsman and a leg-spin bowler, has an EU passport through Spanish ancestry.
He has represented Argentina at U15, U19 and senior level, being the youngest ever to do so when just 13 he made his debut for Argentina U19s, taking four wickets for 30 runs in the meeting with Cayman Islands.
He has been studying at Rugby School in Warwickshire and playing league cricket for Great Oakley CC, whose overseas player he was last summer.
“Cameron Suidgeest and Lautaro Masini have added that bit of extra we have needed,” said Piper.
“Cam is an opening bowler who bowls with pace and aggression and is something we've needed for a while.
“Lautaro is an added bonus for us as he only joined us at the last minute.
“We're very happy with what we've seen so far. He will offer a lot with bat and ball.”
Thom Bunker is a young batter who has come over from Kentisbeare to push himself to play a higher standard.
“He hits the ball hard and I think he'll impress a few people this year,” said Piper.
Piper has never been shy about voicing an opinion and a year away from the captaincy hasn’t changed him.
He has an idea who the runners and riders are in the promotion stakes and where and why Bradninch are among them
“I can only see four teams that could get promoted. Plympton, Paignton, Budleigh and Bradninch,” said Piper, whose side host Lewdown tomorrow.
“This is the first season for a long time in which we've had competition for places within the 1st XI again.
“We are gradually getting stronger and of course the goal is to be playing against the best teams in the county again next year in the Premier.
“We'll see at the end of the season whether we are ready to go back into the Premier.”
Piper has a win over Lewdown firmly in his sights, saying: “A good start to the season is key though.
“Lewdown first up at home, I am told, will be one of the easier games and I suppose I have to agree.
“I guess their season will just be down to how good their overseas is again.”