WITHAM Cricket Club captain Jake Wakelin says his team won’t be making any grand title-chasing statements as the Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship starts this weekend.

Having finished second and third in the last two years and been one of the dominant forces in division one, Witham will be looking for another strong year.

Wakelin, who will be at the helm for a third year, said his close-knit team have prepared well and are looking to enjoy their cricket once again, but he said they wouldn’t be looking any further ahead than the season’s opening game.

That will come tomorrow with a testing encounter at Woolpit, who were relegated from the East Anglian Premier League last season.

Wakelin said: “The boys have been training well indoors and then outdoors over the last couple of weeks and everyone has been looking good.

“You don’t really know for sure until you have that first game, but over the last couple of years we haven’t relied on one person and there are plenty in our side who can do a good job.

“This year may see some transition as we will be looking for younger players like Michael Glynn and Michael Godwin to come through, while Simon Jones may be involved with the seconds a bit more.

“I don’t think that really affects any targets, though, and I have no doubt that we have good players to do well.

“We have finished second and third in the last two years and we feel we are in a strong position.

“We have Woolpit first up and that’s going to be tough as they were playing Premier League cricket last year, but we just have to take each game as it comes.

“We’re not going to say that we’re favourites to win the league or anything and we just want to go out and enjoy it like we always do.

“There is no pressure on us at all.

“I’d say that Woolpit are one of the favourites to win the league because of where they’ve come from, but if we can win then it will be an early stamp from us.”

Wakelin added that Witham won’t start the season with an overseas player in place, but he said he felt there was enough strength at the club to mean that wouldn’t hamper their early chances.

“Adrian (Chad) did well for us last year, but we had plenty in our batting and bowling without him,” the skipper said.

“We’re not like many - I’d say 70 to 80 per cent - of teams who do rely on their overseas player.

“We have strengths throughout our team, but we are still looking to get someone in if we can to add even more strength.”