Google maps and Sat Navs will be well used this season as Eastbourne Cricket Club plot their journey around the unfamiliar territory of Sussex League division two.
Following years of competing in the Sussex Premier and battling against long-established rivals such as Preston Nomads and Horsham, Mark Tomsett’s men will be scouring the maps for destinations such as Goring-by-the-Sea, Middleton and tomorrow’s opponents Findon - Sat Nav postcode: BN14 ORJ!
Relegation in 2012 from the top tier of the Sussex league was a painful experience for all concerned at the club.
However, Tomsett remains optimistic and is looking forward to a different kind of challenge in division two.
The skipper, who rattled off 931 at an impressive average of 43 in the Premier League last season said, “At the time it (the relegation) was obviously disappointing but in a strange way I believe it can help us move forward. The club has refocused and know the direction we are heading in. Obviously we want to be back in the Premier League and that is our objective for this season. But also this will allow some of the younger players coming through to show what they can do.
“I want to see them have some decent time at the crease and learn how to build an innings . It will be a new challenge for us and we will be playing teams and visiting grounds that we have never been to before. I have never played at Findon before and I had to look it up on Google maps to find out where we are going. It will be a good experience for us.”
Expectations are high this season at the Saffrons. Many are tipping Eastbourne for an instant return to the top flight. And for Tomsett, after years of leading the scoring the charts in the Premier, he will be expected to score centuries blindfolded and with one arm tied behind his back.
“Expectation brings its own pressure and we have to manage that,” added the skipper. “We are expected to do well and everyone thinks we will bounce straight back up but we know it will not be that easy.
“As a former Premier League side with a good history, teams will raise their game when they face us. They will want to perform well at the Saffrons and Eastbourne will be the team to beat.
“We are a young side and one of the things we will have to learn is how to deal with that.
“We go into the season in confident mood. Our victory against Blackheath last week in the National was one of the best performances I have been involved in for this club. It will certainly give us confidence heading into the new season.”
A victory that could help them reach their destination of the Premier League once again.
4: Sussex division two: Findon v Eastbourne
11: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Glynde and Beddingham
18: National Cup Preston Nomads v Eastbourne
25: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Pulborough
1: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Crowhurst
8: Sussex division two: Bexhill v Eastbourne
14: Friendly: Eastbourne v Lashings
15: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Goring By Sea
22: Sussex division two: Middleton v Eastbourne
29: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v St James’
6: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Findon
7: Twenty20 Friendly: Eastbourne v Gurnsey XI
13: Sussex division two: Glynde and Beddingham v Eastbourne
20: Sussex division two: Ifield v Eastbourne
27: Sussex division two: Pulbrough v Eastbourne
3: Sussex division two: Crowhurst v Eastbourne
10: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Bexhill
17: Sussex division two: Goring by Sea v Eastbourne
24: Sussex division two: Eastbourne v Middleton
31: Sussex division two: St James’ Montefiore v Eastbourne .