BARNT Green skipper Andrew Sutton says it will be important to avoid being involved a relegation battle before focusing on finishing higher up the Birmingham League Premier Division table.
The Cherry Hill Road side begin the 2017 season tomorrow (Saturday) with a tough away trip to former champions Shrewsbury with the aim of improving on last term’s eighth-placed finish.
Overseas signing James Psarakis, who has joined from Sydney side Randwick Petersham, is expected to make his league debut alongside bowler Ben Lad-Gibbon, who has joined Barnt Green from fellow Premier Division side Walsall.
And with an average squad age between 21 and 22, Sutton is hoping a young Green outfit can get off to a good start.
“We have got a very good young side but we face a tough game away at Shrewsbury on the opening day,” he said.
“They are former champions, they do well in national cup tournaments so it’s going to be difficult. But hopefully we can get off to a good start and get a bit of a buzz going around the club which will give us some momentum for the rest of the season.
“The first hurdle though is to get over that relegation points line of about 180 points.
“Once we reach that target then we can start thinking about pushing for honours and kick on from there.”
Green were knocked out of the first round of the ECB National Club Championship after losing by nine wickets to Knowle & Dorridge on Sunday.
After being put into bat, Green reached 190-6 from their allocated 45 overs. But Knowle eased to 195-1 after 23.2 overs to book their place in second round.