Bury St Edmunds skipper Mike Comber is confident the club can avoide another campaign of struggle when his side take to the field for the start of the new season tomorrow.
Comber has set his players a top-six target going into Bury’s opening East Anglian Premier League fixture at Great Witchingham (11am).
Bury failed to win a league game until the halfway stage of 2015 before winning three of their last four matches to preserve their Premier League status.
Speaking ahead of the new season, Comber said: “I’m not going to say that we will be title contenders, but a top-six place is an achievable goal for us.
“Our performances in the T20 competition helped turn our season around last year. Our displays made us realise how good we were as a team.
“We carried over our success from that competition into the East Anglian Premier League for the final few games of the season.
“It gave us new belief and beating Swardeston at home was a massive, massive thing for us as a team and a club.
“Hopefully we can take that momentum into the new season and even go another couple of places better in the T20 competition too.”
Despite losing the services of club legend Justin Bishop, the club have been busy over the winter building their squad for the new season.
Callum Taylor and Dominic Manthorpe are two new recruits to the club with Essex connections.
Taylor, who featured for England under-19s in the World Cup earlier this year, is primarily a right-handed batsman and bowls right-arm medium.
Bury have also prized Alfie Marston, looking to progress his career in the Premier League, away from Worlington while off-spinner David Coyle, who played alongside Comber during his Clacton days, is another new face.
Taylor has been brought in rather than an overseas player, but Comber feels that the youngster will justify the club’s decision not to look further afield.
“We had a few discussions about bringing in an overseas player but we feel we’ve made the right decision for the team and Bury as a club.
“We know what Callum is about. He’s a very exciting player and a superstar in the making.”
On teenager Manthorpe, Comber said: “He’s a left-arm seamer with a good bit of pace. He will be a good replacement for Justin Bishop.”
Bury have also retained the services of fluent run scorer Sean Park, who cracked eight half-centuries last season and Comber has predicted bright futures and further progress from both Ben Curran and Ben Whittaker during the current campaign.
Comber, who believes the league will be even more competitive this year, is also delighted to have former Suffolk County coach Robert Flack on board at the club.
“I’m a very aggressive cricketer and like to try to win every game. Having Robert on board will help me tactically.
“His experience and know-how will help me make better decisions.”