When the Surrey Championship season gets under way this weekend, Sutton CC’s new skipper David Mitchell wants his side build on the promise of last season.
Under Johann Myburgh’s leadership last term, Sutton only registered their first Premier Division win at the sixth attempt.
However, just two defeats in the next seven games – including wins at eventual champions Wimbledon and title challengers Sunbury – showed the side could mix it with the best.
Now Mitchell is looking to hit the ground running when they welcome Spencer to Gander Green Lane on Saturday.
“We had a tough start last season while Johann settled in and learned about us as a team,” Mitchell said.
“He was offered a contract at Somerset in November and could not turn it down. He wants to maintain contact, but his county commitments will restrict that.
“But he left us in good shape, and if we follow his formula then we can hopefully be up there this season.
The 34-year-old former vice-captain added: “Last season we showed that we are able to take on the better teams and can play positive cricket.
“If we can combine that with a good start to the season, it would be ideal.”
Sutton have recruited over the winter bringing in batsman and medium pace bowler Garth Davson and all rounder Warren Barnes.
South African Davson has second XI appearances for Essex and Leicestershire under his belt, while Kiwi Barnes took 29 wickets at an average of just over 13 as part of Auckland University’s rise to the top of the Minor Championship this season.
Mitchell said: “They are a couple of good additions to a young side that has shown in some pre-season work that they are ready to kick on.”
Sutton’s competitive season got off to a losing start with defeat in the National Cup, see box right.