LECHLADE are aiming to make club history in 2014 and secure promotion to the West of England Premier League’s top two tiers for the first time.

Chairman Paul Rowley has added a series of dynamic and experienced cricketers to his squad, including South African hitter Juanre van Wyk and Ryan Higgins, while Joe Breet replaces Paul Godding as captain.

Breet is optimistic going into the new season, saying: “Juanre will be a great asset to the club. He has played here before and scored just short of 1,200 runs last year for Rushden Town in the Northamptonshire League. He will also be great cover for Sam (Burdock) with the gloves if we need him.

“We have a stronger all round team this year with the addition of quality players such as Ryan Higgins and Michael Craigs. “I don’t think I am going to be short of options no matter what is thrown at us this season.”

Zimbabwean Higgins, who has 11 one day international caps to his name, will add more explosive depth to the Lechlade middle order along with Breet, Willy Nichols, Arran Dickinson and Tris Hawkes.

Northumberland left arm seamer Michael Craigs also joins the club after relocating to the area and he and coach Luke Sellers will spearhead the Lechlade attack this season.

Craigs has already hit the ground running this season with a very impressive Minor Counties performance last week, taking 6-27. Sellers said. “The bowling side of the team looks very strong this year and I hope that Michael and myself can lead the way and that Asanka (Vitanage), Paul (Godding), Willy (Nichols), Ryan (Higgins) and Joe (Breet) can capitalise on good starts with the ball.”

Lechlade have also secured the services of Oli Thornley from Cirencester after an impressive preseason. The club hope he and young Freddie Martin will add to Lechlade’s batting for this season and the long term.

Lechlade expect to be at full strength for their opening games against Gloucester City Winget in the Glos/Wilts Division on Saturday and a rearranged National Village Cup game against Shrewton on Sunday at the Manor Ground.