Captain Kenny Reid hopes tomorrow can be the start of Aberdeenshire’s journey back to the upper echelons of Scottish cricket.
After no competitive cricket last season because of the pandemic, Shire start their quest to get back to the Eastern Premier Division, having been relegated in 2019, against Kinloch at St Andrews tomorrow.
Skipper Reid believes his side have what it takes to win the North-East Championship and earn promotion.
He said: “When we got relegated we grouped together and put a plan in place for where we want to be in the years down he line.
“The committee are committed to the cricket side of things being developed so that we can get back to the upper echelons of Scottish cricket again.
“There’s a lot of work to go into that, but the building blocks are there and the first step is making ourselves competitive and winning the Strathmore league and getting ourselves into the EPL.
“Then we can build that and hopefully move towards our goal of reaching the upper echelons and winning trophies again.”
Aberdeenshire are also in action on Sunday when they face East of Scotland Cricket Association side Gala at Meigle Park in the first round of the Scottish Cup.
Reid added: “I don’t think I’ve ever played at Gala or played against Gala, so it’s a complete unknown for me.
“It’s the Scottish Cup and I don’t think anybody is expecting us to win it, so I’ll be telling the boys to enjoy it, back themselves to play their shots and play no-fear cricket.
“And if we can win and go on a journey in the Scottish Cup that would be nice.”
Gordonians also aiming high
Meanwhile, Gordonians captain Mayank Bhandari is hopeful his side can have a good campaign and challenge at the top end of the North-East Championship.
They begin their campaign against Strathmore at Countesswells tomorrow and Bhandari said: “In the league I think we can finish in the top three at least.
“I know there have been changes to the league structure this year with a few new teams added.
“But I still think we can finish in the top three. I have high hopes with the structure we’ve got that we can perform well this season.”
Bhandari believes the lack of overseas players in the league this season, due to travel restrictions, will also help Gordonians, who are keen to give youth a chance.
He added: “This year nobody has any overseas players and that’s a benefit for us really.
“We haven’t had any overseas players in the last three or four years and often in games we’ve played the difference could be made by an overseas player that would do something special and win the opposition the game.”