GRAHAM Lloyd is aiming to remain a voice of calm as Accrington look to reclaim the Lancashire League title.
The Thorneyholme Road side are again tipped by many to re-take the crown and won a tight opening league clash with Rishton.
But ex-England and Lancashire batsman is hoping to keep everyone’s feet on the ground and knows it won’t be easy second time around.
"I think the league is wide open this season and if we get a top three finish then I would be happy," said the experienced Lloyd.
"It is competitive and lots of teams will fancy their chances. It would be great for us to win it again but other teams will think that they can too.
"We played Todmorden in the Colne Trophy on Saturday and they beat us and were strong and Rishton are a good side and came close to beating us - there are no pushovers in this league.
"But any team will have to work hard to beat us."
Prolific wicket taker David Ormerod kicked off the new season with a seven wicket haul - to take his career tally to 1039 - as Rishton were all out for 208 with Craig Smith and Sam Hacking both reaching half centuries for the Blackburn Road side.
Lloyd made 33 but it was an unbeaten 69 from Graeme Sneddon - hitting the winning runs with four balls to spare - which played a big part in the three wicket win.
"Those two saw us over the line," said Lloyd. "David is reliable in every game and he is one of the best bowlers the league has even seen.
"But Graeme won us the game and I am pleased for him as we will need these kind of performances from individuals to win us certain games.
"This weekend it was those two and next weekend it will probably be someone else but we need everyone to chip in.
"But it was a good game on Sunday. There was a decent crowd there, it was a good atmosphere and it was close so that makes it a big win for us."
Accrington were reliant on sub pro Will Driver as Sri Lankan Roy Silva’s visa is held up -with a number of clubs in the Lancashire League in the same position due to new immigration laws.
"Obviously it is a blow and it is frustrating but a lot of sides are in the same boat," said Lloyd.
"You want your full strength side and hopefully Roy will be here soon."
Silva, though, won’t make it for this weekend’s double header with Accrington scrambling around for a pro.
But Lloyd hopes they can continue to add to their winning tally with the addition of his dad, David Lloyd, 62, the ex-England cricketer.
"It will be tough as Todmorden have already beaten us and then there is Rawtenstall. They will be close games and could go either way.
"I haven’t set myself any personal targets. I would just like Accrington to pack a few people in, I would love us to finish in the top three and have a good run in the Worsley Cup again.
"There is also the Twenty20 where we would like to do well and we just want to have a good season."
Rishton were also reliant on a sub-pro in Jonathan Harvey but Australian Aaron Heal is here for their double header at Bacup and Haslingden.
Church, too, are waiting for their paid man with New Zealander Luke Woodcock also caught up by the visa laws. And they will want him here after an opening day loss. Alec Holt’s 67 in 89 balls was the big knock in a low scoring game with Ramsbottom. Church made just 115 as the other players failed to produce wtih the bat.
But it ended up close with Ramsbottom losing seven wickets before they passed the total. Church face Colne and Enfield this weekend.
Enfield do have their paid man - Gary Brent - but he couldn’t help them to an open day win.
The Zimbabwean took four wickets and scored 20 against East Lancashire but the Dill Hall Laners fell well short. Ex-Baxenden pro Jonathan Fielding, standing in at Alexandra Meadow, took six wickets and skittled Enfield out for 110. They face Nelson and Church.