New-look Cuckney ready for opener at Notts Premier League promoted newcomers Notts & Arnold Amateur

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New-look Cuckney are full of optimism as they begin their Nottinghamshire Premier League season away to promoted Notts & Arnold Amateur on Saturday.

Cuckney, who finished fourth last year, have made several changes and assistant captain Richard Bostock said: “We lost James Hawley, Dave Franks and Tom Keast, who were absolute staple players of our team.

“However, we have recruited pretty well. They left early before Christmas and we have brought in an overseas player in Andrew Hazeldine, who is a New Zealander, and Tom Barber, who was released by Notts at the end of last season.

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“Both are opening quick bowlers and will open our attack and Andrew is good with the bat too.

Andrew Hazeldine - Cuckney's new Kiwi pro.Andrew Hazeldine - Cuckney's new Kiwi pro.
Andrew Hazeldine - Cuckney's new Kiwi pro.

“We have also signed a lot of younger lads for the squad too who we will definitely need during the year – the likes of Nathan Crookes, who signed from Anston.

“We have strengthened really well in the end and we're looking pretty strong. We have the right sort of ages in – everyone is around 20-25. So we are looking to really mount a challenge again this year.”

On Saturday's opener he said: “Notts & Arnold have been playing our second team for the last five years, so we know what they are about and we know what their ground is like at Goosedale.

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“You don't take any team lightly who's come up as you know they are there for a reason.

“We're just looking to go out there, do what we usually do, and as long as we don the basics and what we've been training for we have a good chance.

“We train and recruit to challenge for the title. We are very optimistic we've got a chance this year.”

Bostock said a good start would be crucial.

“It was a big thing we looked at last year as the previous few years we'd not started that well,” he said.

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“But we did addressed that last year and hit the ground running and it got us into the right positions.

“Unfortunately we had our pros disappear three quarters of the way through the year and it derailed what we were doing.

“The likes of Kimberley, Cavaliers and Papplewick don't give you an inch so you have to hit the ground running and take the full points whenever you can.

“We hear rumours that Cavs have made a few different signings, having lost their overseas players, and they will be as strong as ever.

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“If Kimberley have managed to hold on to what they had they will be as strong as anyone.”​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​