CHURCH CC will secretly hope they can go one step further than last season's runners-up spot - but they are not making any wild predictions.
It was an exciting campaign in 2004 for the Blackburn Road side as they enjoyed their best finish since 1962 - and only missed out on the title as Haslingden clinched it in a final day wash-out.
But captain Phil Sykes is keeping what he believes are realistic targets for his side.
"Last year we set a target of 13 league wins - to win as many as we lose - and to have a good cup run and then take it from there.
"And this year we have set exactly the same targets. When we get to 13 wins, then we will have a look at where we are in the table and see where we can go from there."
Church have been boosted by the fact they have kept the same team as last season and have the same professional, Sri Lankan Ruven Peiris, who broke the club batting record.
"We had a young side last year but they are all a year older and enjoyed the experience of challenging for the title. That was a good experience for everyone concerned with the club and we got into the winning habit.
"But we all know it is just as easy to get into the losing habit so no one will get carried away."
Church didn't have the best of starts last summer struggling in their early matches before they went on a roll. And they will hope for a better early show when they welcome Worsley Cup winners Lowerhouse to Blackburn Road for the opening day fixture on Sunday.
"We won just two out of the first five matches last season and then we didn't do much wrong after that," said the captain. "So the aim is to get off to a better start this season."
The only disappointment last summer was not going far in the Worsley Cup and the skipper admitted: "You only need four matches to win the cup and we would love to get to the final. We did it two years ago and enjoyed the day although we want to go one better this time."
And he knows to go one better in the league will make it a special season - but the opposition is tough.
"Haslingden will be up there again. They have got bowler Jimmy Hayhurst from Accrington and Graham Knowles at the club.
"Then Nelson will be strong and Ramsbottom have a good professional. I think if you finish above those three then you have had a good season.
"But it is difficult to predict. Professionals can come and go - through injury and availability - so, at the start of the season, it is a case of wait and see what happens.
"We are lucky that, barring injury, our professional is here for the full season and he is a good one at that.
"But last season will be a hard act to follow. That is why we are setting our sights on the 13 league wins - that is our priority - and we will see where it takes us."
- CHURCH have already had reason to celebrate as their league representative, Jack Houldsworth, has been made President of the Musbury Fabrics Lancashire League. It is a first for the club as Jack takes over from Malcolm Heywood.
"It is an honour for me and for the club," said Jack, who was nominated by the league committee and voted in at the AGM.