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Howzat: Roy Smith is hoping Hornchurch Cricket Club new boys can ruffle feathers in Essex League Premier Division

PUBLISHED: 13:00 02 May 2016

Hornchurch celebrate winning the Essex League Cup final against Brentwood (pic: Sandra Rowse)

Hornchurch celebrate winning the Essex League Cup final against Brentwood (pic: Sandra Rowse)

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Harrlow Lodge Park outfit have signed Essex's Tom Moore and New Zealand international Rob Nicol for new campaign

After a stunning 2015 season, Hornchurch captain Roy Smith admits his team can’t wait to get going as the Essex League Premier Division starts again next month.

The Harrow Lodge Park club won the Division One title last year and also shocked Brentwood in the Essex League Cup final to complete a stunning double.

And now they are looking to ruffle a few feathers in the top flight having recruited well during the winter.

Rob Nicol, who has made two Test appearances for New Zealand and scored two one-day hundreds for the Kiwis, has joined for the season and Hornchurch have also managed to bring in Tom Moore, who is breaking into the Essex team, from Brentwood.

“It is a big season for us and we just want to go up there, enjoy it and continue what we have been building over the last couple of years,” said Smith.

“We have added a few new players to the squad with one of them being a good New Zealander and he should help bring a bit of experience and leadership.

“Rob is somebody to aspire to because he has played at international level. He is an all-rounder so should be good for us and we’ve also signed Tom from Brentwood.

“We have got him to open the bowling and hopefully that will give us the fire power up top that we have been lacking. With him and Paul Walter, who has been training with Essex, and Billy Gordon we should have a decent seam attack.

“The two new players are good for us because we’ve lost a couple, but we’re going in with almost the same squad as last year.”

Max Osborne has returned to Brentwood, while Taqi Abbas has joined relegated Loughton.

But Hornchurch are full of hope and confidence before the Premier Division campaign starts on May 7 against Buckhurst Hill.

They haven’t set themselves a fixed target, but Smith believes anything is possible, adding: “The club has ambitions and an ambitious chairman.

“Anywhere above halfway is a start, but we will take it one step at a time. We will go one game, then two and three and see where we are at halfway.

“We might be third from bottom, bottom, halfway or even top. If we’re first then we’ll have the belief to go on and win it.”

Hornchurch defeated a number of Premier Division teams in cup competitions last season and that has given them a lot of belief.

Smith added: “The standard is strong so we won’t be taking it lightly, but if we can do it on the longer basis of a league campaign we could ruffle a few feathers.”

• Read more in our Howzat! pullout here.

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