North Crawley begin their defence of the Four Counties League Division One title on Saturday, and their biggest challenge looks set to come from one of the city’s newest clubs.
New City were just pipped to the title last summer, but the club have big ambitions for the future, which includes denying North Crawley of a third consecutive league win this year.
Currently based in Great Linford, New City are looking to set up shop in Broughton in future, benefiting from the new facilities in the area.
They begin this summer’s competition away at Cranfield University, as North Crawley travel to Eaton Bray, Newport Pagnell visit Elstow and Olney meet MK City at Woughton on the Green.
“My big vision is to have a multi-tiered club – the heart of which will be having a solid youth structure in place,” said New City 1st XI skipper Kaival Patel.
“But for this to happen we need an identity and at Great Linford we currently do not have this. I think mainly due to our ground being hidden away a little.
“I saw Broughton, with its big, somewhat controversial, yellow and black building as our chance to achieve this. It is a potentially untapped community – where we can bring kids to train, play and have fun, and new players to the club.
“But we’ll still be playing at our current home ground for the foreseeable future. The biggest issue with having 60 members and just one pitch is that we can’t get everyone a game – so we want to rotate between both grounds but use Broughton as our identity.
“On a cricketing level the aim is to win the league, but nothing is a given. Last year we were an unknown entity, whereas this year teams will be a lot more prepared.”
Action across all seven of the league’s divisions begins on Saturday. Clubs are invited to send their match reports to firstname.lastname@example.org