Egerton Park captain Nick Watchorn has challenged his team to learn from last season and be ready to come out all guns blazing when the curtain goes up on their 2015 campaign.
Park’s First XI slipped into Division Three in 2013 and took time to adapt to their new surroundings last summer.
A strong finish took them up to seventh and gave them a glimpse of what might have been with improved beginnings.
Watchorn said: “After giving every team a five-game head start last year, we had a good middle part of the season and finished mid-table.
“Expectations are high this year for a positive season which should see Egerton Park compete for the Division Three title.”
Park’s hopes have been raised by the recruitment of Australian player-coach Zaheer Hussain, a middle order batsman and leg spinner.
The Victorian missed last weekend’s pre-season friendly against a Didsbury side featuring Park old boy Ben Kirkup, but the club are hopeful he will arrive in time for Saturday’s season opener at Newbold Verdon (1pm).
“This is the first season in a little while we will benefit from an overseas player and coach,” Watchorn added.
“Zaheer will strengthen the squad and provide valuable coaching for all players, but especially our youth teams.
“There is an air of anticipation, expectation and refreshed energy and ambition about the club this year.”
The club also go into 2015 with a new chairman David Glover, after long-serving Geoff Goodson stepped down from the role to become vice-chairman.
The Melton club is also developing a new website www.EPCC.cricket to publicise the club and events, while allowing potential new members to register their interest.
New recruits are also invited to pop down to the ground on match days or Friday evenings.
* The Second XI line up in Division Six East this season and open the season with an eyecatching fixture: a home derby clash with Oakham’s second team.
They will be hoping to improve on last season when they finished third-bottom.
The match starts at 1pm.