LOCAL clubs Welbeck Colliery, Cuckney and Mansfield Hosiery Mills begin their Notts Premier Cricket League campaign on Saturday.
But with the leading four sides all expected to be highly competitive again, all three locals have their work cut out in to improve on last year’s showings.
Top two West Indian Cavaliers and Clifton have lost some key players, although Cavs have signed Notts star Bilal Shafayat, while Kimberley and Caythorpe have strengthened greatly.
“I don’t think any of the Mansfield area clubs will be involved in the relegation dogfight, but they will find it hard to break into a top four of that quality,” said league chairman Peter Johnson.
“We seem to have 10 ‘super clubs’ in the county these days which means newly-promoted sides Worksop and Plumtree will consider it a successful season if they can finish 10th and avoid going straight back down.”
Welbeck will be the first visitors to Plumtree in Saturday’s opening programme.
Youthful Welbeck, whose average age last year was the lowest club average in Britain at only 19, have a new overseas player in Aussie pace bowler Kyle Francis.
Meanwhile Cuckney and Hosiery Mills, who are battling to secure a work permit to allow overseas player, Sri Lankan Sudesh Fernando to return, contest an opening day derby.
l This season’s Premier League Twenty20 competition will be staged at Trent Bridge on 9th July.