PAUL Houldsworth is the new Great Harwood skipper - and hopes he can emulate his last season as captain.
Then, in 2001, Harwood won the Ramsbottom Cup and finished runners-up to Cherry Tree on the final day of the season.
He was a reluctant captain and admits he has taken on the responsibility this season "because no one else wanted to do it."
But he is ready to grasp the opportunity with both arms and help Harwood move up the table after finishing a disappointing seventh last summer - although they did reach the final of the 20/20 and the Ramsbottom Cup only to be pipped by treble winners Clitheroe.
"I am older and wiser now and Allan Armer, who was captain for part of last season, is getting married this year so I was the one left!
"Last time I was captain we did well so I have got to follow that up now! No pressure!
"But it did look like a bad season last year but we still reached two cup finals.
"We were just inconsistent in the league and that's not good enough. We have the talent here and can match any team amateur for amateur but we just need to get that consistency back."
Harwood have a new pro in Pakistani Sohail Tanvir, an all-rounder who played in the North Staffs and South Cheshire League last season.
"We are missing him for the the first two weeks as he is on the Pakistan A tour of Bangladesh but, by all accounts, he is a very good player. We wanted a bowler but he has already had two hundreds so hopefully he will be a good all-rounder."
Houldsworth thinks the new points system - similar to the Lancashire League with ten points for a win and batting and bonus points - will be interesting.
"In the old system you didn't get bonus points for batting but under this system you do so it gives teams more reason to go out and get the runs so it should make it more exciting."
He has no idea who to tip the title as holders Clitheroe have broken up and it could be wide open.
"It is hard at the moment as you just hear rumours about who has signed for who and what each professional is like.
"But the pro does make a major difference and we will probably know more after the first few games."
They have Rishton's pro Saeed Anwar Junior for tomorrow's (Sat) clash with Edenfield.