Scanlon takes charge of weakened Bready
Last season's Northern Bank senior cup winners may have been expected to build on the experience gained from finally getting over the winning line but in a close season where there has been precious little player movement it is unlikely that Bready have progressed enough to challenge the big guns for the title just yet.
Agha Sabir Ali returns as their overseas man after a solid start but it is the “out” rather than “in” tray that sees the most action.
David Scanlon was given the armband following the retirement of Trevor Hamilton although to be fair, the two players leaving, Dean Curry and Jack Glenn played no cricket from the halfway point of the season anyway.
Of much more concern to Bready will be the fact that Steven Clarke is believed to be having a year off with a back injury and a batting order that looked exposed several times last year could be vulnerable again.
Clarke has been one of the mainstays at the club for a while now and helped Bready offset the loss of Chris Dougherty three years back so it is certainly a blow to their hopes. David Rankin, Sabir, Brian Scanlon and Brian Crumley will be expected to provide the bulk of the runs and although the middle order is well capable, that could be their undoing.
The Magheramason side's attack was their strong suit last season however that is where Hamilton's absence is most likely to be felt and it all points to a season of consolidation this time.