PAT Patel believes Frinton Cricket Club can become the Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League’s first Essex champions.

And the club’s ambitious chairman of cricket is adamant they can achieve that feat in the next five years.

Frinton are adjusting to life at club cricket’s top table after winning promotion via last season’s Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship.

They have made a bright start – drawing their first game and then narrowly losing to last season’s champions, Swardeston, on Saturday.

Patel believes his club are building strong foundations for the future.

And he sees no reason why they cannot be crowned champions in the next few years.

“That’s my aim and I don’t see any reason why it can’t happen,” he said.

“I believe we’ll win the title in the next five years.

“That would be such an achievement and it would make us the first Essex champions.

“We’re realistic and you have to take into account the quality of the teams we’re up against.

“But I feel strongly about our club.

“We’re doing things the right way and laying foundations for the future, largely thanks to having such a hard-working committee all pulling in the same direction.

“We don’t want to be one-season wonders – having a season in the Premier League and then disappearing back into the Two Counties Championship.

“We’d rather build things up, starting with a season of consolidation this year.

“I still think we’ll finish in the top-half, but it’s more about finding our feet and sussing the league out.

“Then we’ll sit down and review everything, before raising our targets and maybe aiming for the top three or four next year.”