Golcar will not have an overseas signing this season, but they have bolstered their batting and seam attack.
Captain Steve Whitwam has drafted in Niall Lockley from Barkisland for the top of the order and swooped for his former Scholes teammate Andy Alsop to lead the attack in place of Danny Rhodes, who has moved away from the area and is working Saturdays.
The Swallow Lane club had New Zealand first-class player Cameron Fletcher in their line-up last year, when they finished sixth in the Drakes Premiership and reached the semi-finals of the arrowselfdrive Sykes Cup.
Whitwam believes they can improve with the rest of a settled squad already in place and he’s confident for their campaign, which gets under way against Scholes at Chapelgate on Saturday, April 19.
“We’ve decided against an overseas in favour of giving our local lads a chance,” said Whitwam, who topped the league run-scorers last summer with 1,281 at an average of 53.38 and took 49 wickets at 18.
“Niall will hopefully replace the runs of Cam Fletcher and he’s a good player, one who reminds me a lot of David Warner in the way he goes about his cricket. He has had some good knocks against us over the last couple of years and I’m sure he’ll play a big part for us at the top of the order.
“With Andy Alsop, I played with him at Scholes 10 years ago, he’s a mate of mine and he’s got the quality and experience to be a big benefit to the younger lads in the team.”
Alsop brings Byrom Shield and Black Sheep Yorkshire Champions Trophy-winning experience with him, while Whitwam expects others in the side to step up.
“Will Hinchliffe will gain play a massive role opening the bowling with Sloppy (Alsop), while Rizwan Haider came on leaps and bounds last summer and can do so again,” added Whitwam.
“Jack Hargreaves is a massive talent who I believe can step up this year, James Howson will look to be among the runs once again and then Jake Lockwood, who is up at New College Academy with Dave Weston, had a decent year last year and will definitely improve.
“Add to them the likes of Danny Woodhead, Craig Ruscoe and Mark Wilson, who had 40 victims behind the sticks, and we are a solid unit.
“The upshot is that I believe we have 11 first-team players, and I don’t think many clubs can say that, and with our team ethic and spirit I’m certain we can improve on what we did last summer.”