CLACTON Cricket Club are gunning for promotion this season - and determined to get their campaign off to a winning start on Saturday.

The Seasiders launch their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division two campaign with a home match against Copdock and Old Ipswichians seconds on Saturday.

The sides are set to meet at Vista Road, with Clacton looking to go one step further then last season when they were pipped to promotion by Maldon and Elmstead Grasshoppers.

“Everyone at the club is looking forward to the new season,” said excited team manager Gary Kirk.

“Having just missed out on promotion last year, we’re looking to push one step further in 2017.

“Sadly we’ve lost a couple of senior players but that just gives our younger members a chance.

“We have a new skipper this year, Ryan Chamberlain. He’s a local lad who’s been with us since he was a junior player himself.

“Bradley Pitts remains as Sunday captain (in the North Essex League).

“His young team won promotion to the first division last year. It will be a tough test of our resources, as our policy is to play our youth players in what will be a very strong Sunday set-up.”

Kirk confirmed a new signing in the shape of Australian batsman Haydn Erfurth.

He joins off the back of a very successful season Down Under, playing for Lindenow South Glenaladale, in Victoria.

His club won the grand final for the second year, with Erfurth being player of the finals and also the season.

Kirk believes attracting new players to the club will help safeguard its future and says the club are always looking for people to join.

“As has been said many times, cricket is not being played in schools and so it’s up to the local clubs to provide the cricket coaching and focus to attract the players of our future,” he said.

“Clacton have over 140 years’ history of cricket within the community and we’re continuing that theme this year.

“We’re looking for the community to help us so anyone keen on cricket, no matter what age they are, should come along to our family-focused club.”

Clacton will be holding their first outside youth training session next Tuesday, at 5.45pm at their ground next to Clacton Leisure Centre. All youth players interested in joining are invited to come along.

The club have a lot of youth games this year, plus a Kwik cricket tournament in June.

Any new adult player should contact Kirk 07880 192077.