Adam Bracewell won’t worry if his Enfield side gets off to a bad start in the Lancashire League.
They have the toughest of starts to the new season as they travel to Ramsbottom and host title favourites Lowerhouse in the opening fortnight.
But even if Enfield – who finished fourth last year – were to initially struggle, Bracewell doesn’t believe it would severely harm their ambitions.
“The first two games are going to be difficult, obviously,” the captain said.
“If we can win our first two then that would put a big stamp down on the league and show we mean business.
“But early on you can lose a few games then put a run together and all of a sudden be up there.
“Even after a bad start you can be towards the top of the table after a few wins and be challenging for the title at the end of the season.”
Enfield will be without last season’s star pro performer Werner Coetsee, who has returned to South Africa, but Bracewell is hopeful Brad Moses can pick up where his countryman left off.
“I think we can have a similar season to last year. It’s unlikely that our new professional will hit the heights Werner Coetsee managed, but he should score more runs with the bat and pick up some wickets,” he said.
“The league has always been tight – everybody is capable of beating anybody on their day. That’s probably down to the pros really. They can really come off and if they’re playing well can take a game away from any side.
“We fancy beating any of the big sides on our day.”
The Dill Lane outfit haven’t shuffled their pack too much over the winter, whereas other teams have brought in a number of new faces.
That, says the captain, could give Enfield an early advantage as rival squads attempt to gel.
“Rammy have some quality players in their ranks like Jon Fielding and Steve Dearden, while the professional is a class act,” he said.
“They’ve brought a few new players in from last year. We have got a couple of additions in our team as well – that gives us more competition for places if anything. The basis of our squad is the same as last season.
“The fact we’ve not had too many join could work in our favour because it’ll be the first time the Rammy lads have played together.”
While Enfield are at Ramsbottom, Church – who finished third last season – have a trip to Burnley.
Meanwhile, Rishton have a difficult opener at Lowerhouse.
Accrington open their campaign with a home match against Haslingden.