Eglinton favourites to bounce back
The Villagers wont want to dwell on a bitterly disappointing 2011 and despite the fact that the top flight is being trimmed to 8 teams next year, they appear thoroughly focused on being among the elite when that happens.
Karl O'Doherty keeps the skippers armband and will be ably assisted by Christopher Pierce, one of the few players to enjoy much success last term but those two will have plenty of experience around them if the going gets tough.
Andy Christie has a major role to play at the top of the order and Richard Stewart looks set to feature despite hinting at retirement during the winter. Jonny Gardiner stays too but the signing of Stephen Smyth is the real eye-catcher.
The left hander could wreak total havoc at this level if he is in the mood and he is the main reason the Villagers start the season as warm favourites to finish top.
The experiment of bringing in Ryan Butterworth didn't work last season; the Zimbabwean is an undoubtedly class player but the club didn't get to see the best of him and the loss of Mark Averill could hurt more.
Spokesman John Pierce also suggested that “while promotion back to Division 1 remains the fullest priority we will continue to develop the younger players at every opportunity. The likes of Ross Allen, Andrew Pierce, Jamie Millar and Stephen Kennedy will more than likely get their chance to show what they can do and the experience of the more senior players can help them develop.
"We have six trophies to play for this year so a good squad is essential and we will be very disappointed if we don't feature on the winners rostrum somewhere along the line”.
With almost the same squad that played in the top flight, and Smyth added in for good measure, Eglinton know there will be few better chances to bounce straight back.