New faces will bolster upwardly mobile Spa

Leamington are building up for another exciting season in 2011.

Following their last-gasp promotion on the final day of the 2010 campaign, the 1st XI are relishing the challenge of the Premier Division of the Birmingham & District League.

Oxfordshire’s Rob Williams is again at the helm and the squad is bolstered by several new faces and the return of three former players.

Last season’s England under-19 captain Paul Best has transferred from Stratford and will hope to make an impact with bat and ball.

Wicketkeeper/batsman Michael Balac returns from Coventry & North Warwickshire, while Zimbabwean all-rounder Jason Young has moved from Kenilworth Wardens.

The season started with a friendly against Oxford Brookes University and continues tomorrow with two matches at home to Hampstead.

James Uddin’s 2nd XI will hope to benefit from the influx of talent and challenge for the Premier Division title this year.

Matt Dale once again takes the reins of the 3rds, who will be looking to bounce back from their Cotswold Hills League relegation and Ken Hopkins’ 4ths will play in Division One of the West Midlands League in 2011.

The club will also participate in a number of Sunday and midweek competitions.

Leamington chairman Damian Dixon said: “The success of last season’s 1st XI was based on a tight-knit squad and we believe that the addition of young talent who have their roots in Leamington will stand the team in good stead this season.

“We have a reputation as a yo-yo side which we want to disprove this year.”

The youth section looks to be as strong as ever and the club will run teams at all age groups from under- nines to under-16s.

Meanwhile, the fledgling ladies’ section are aiming to bolster numbers after last year’s successful reintroduction to the club.