Skipper Smith upbeat ahead of Sussex Premier League opener at Horsham

Eastbourne skipper Jacob Smith
Eastbourne skipper Jacob Smith

Eastbourne Cricket Club captain Jacob Smith hopes to build on the success of last season as they prepare for their first match of the Sussex Premier at Horsham tomorrow (Saturday 11.30am).

Eastbourne finished last campaign in fine style and narrowly missed out on the title to Roffey. Smith (below) believes the experience his talented young team gained from their push for the title will serve them well for 2019. “It is case of keeping the ball rolling and continuing that momentum,” Smith said. “I’m not going to say we are going to win the title. But I do think if we get ourselves in a similar position, we will know how to cope much better and perhaps go one step further.”

Eastbourne enjoyed a five-wicket victory at Mayfield in preseason. New Zealand overseas allrounder Fraser McHale featured as did a host of promising youngsters from the under-18s. “It was a great work out for the team and it felt just like last season.

“The youngsters did very well and I’m sure we will see some of the younger lads featuring heavily this season.”

Prolific batsman James Hockley will once again be at the top of the order but Sussex star Delray Rawlings has left and joined Sussex.

“We were kind of expecting to be without Delray because of Sussex commitments but in the end he decided to join Brighton for his club cricket. It’s a shame but I’m sure we will be fine and it will give one of the younger lads an opportunity.”

The seconds start their Division Three East season tomorrow (12.30pm) as they welcome Rottingdean.