No brash predictions from Peterborough Town who intend to let their cricket do the talking this summer

Peterborough Town captain David Clarke in action.
Peterborough Town captain David Clarke in action.
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Peterborough Town will let their cricket do the talking in 2019.

There will no brash predictions from captain David Clarke or the players in a re-modelled side as they set out on their Northants Premier Division campaign next Saturday (April 27).

Alex Mitchell will skipper Peterborough Town's Rutland Division One side this summer.

Alex Mitchell will skipper Peterborough Town's Rutland Division One side this summer.

It’s fair to say though that quiet confidence accompanied Clarke’s pre-season comments.

“It’s a different team with a different approach this season,” Clarke said. “We have lost talented players in Asim Butt and Mohammed Saif to Brigstock from last season’s team, but we have recruited well with new players like Josh Smith and Nick Paskins coming into the squad.

“Rob Sayer and Lewis Bruce should be available for the season so it’s a good squad and we should be confident of getting into the top three.

“I hear there has been some strengthening of squads over the winter and the likes of Old Northamptonians and reigning champions Finedon are always strong so it would be wrong to predict we will win the league.

Mark Hodgson skippers Oundle Town again.

Mark Hodgson skippers Oundle Town again.

“We will aim for the top three and then see what happens.

“Obviously we will miss Asim who has been a great player for our club over a long period of time.

“He and Saif will make sure Brigstock stay up and we wish them both well.

“As far as Asim is concerned we just wanted to move towards younger players and we look to have a strong batting line-up without him. The move is amicable. He’ll always be a good friend of mine and the club’s.

“And Saif will be a top slow bowler in the future, but he would have struggled to get many overs with Lewis and Rob around. He will still play for us in the Rutland League.

“Josh Smith is also a decent off-spin bowler.”

Smith enjoyed an impresive debut weekend for Town scoring 51 and 90 in friendlies against Notts Premier League sides Kimberley Institute and Plumtree.

Town host another top Notts club Wollaton today (April 20) before taking on Northants Premier Division rivals Oundle in a Rutland Division One game at Milton Road tomorrow (1pm).

Free-flowing batsman Alex Mitchell will skipper Town’s Rutland team this summer.

Town open their Northants League season at home to Rushden on April 27 when the ICC World Cup trophy will be on display at Bretton Gate.

Oundle, who have lost star batsman James Kettleborough, travel to Northampton Saints that day. Mark Hodgson will again skipper Oundle and he will be hoping returning star David Foster’s availability is good. Brothers Conor and Harrison Craig should also improve on their first season of Northants League cricket.

Town will also compete in the ECB Club Championships and they’ve been handed an interesting first round tie at home to big-spending Cambs Division One club Sawston and Babraham on April 28.

CLUB GUIDE

OUNDLE

Competition: Northants Premier Division.

Captain: Mark Hodgson.

Ins: David Foster.

Outs: James Kettleborough.

One to watch: All-rounder Foster is a class act, although his availability will be limited.

Club comment: “If we learn from last season, we can finish in the top half,” Hodgson.

Swanny’s verdict: Another tough season ahead unless they can get their stars out regularly.

PETERBOROUGH TOWN

Competition: Northants Premier Division.

Captain: David Clarke.

Ins: Josh Smith Nick Paskins, Qadir Mohammed.

Outs: Kieran Judd , Asim Butt, Mohammed Saif.

One to watch: Josh Smith is a top-class all-rounder.

Club comment: “We’ll aim for the top three and take it from there,” said Clarke.

Swanny’s verdict: They’ll challenge for the title if availability stays strong.