CAPTAIN Kyran Young believes new signing Jaik Mickleburgh will have a “huge influence” at Frinton Cricket Club.

The former Essex batsman spent last season with Gibbs Denley East Anglian Premier League rivals Copdock and Old Ipswichian.

He is not available for the opening weeks of the season but is expected to make an impact when he joins up with the squad.

“We’re so pleased to have signed Jaik,” said Young, whose side begin their Premier League campaign with a trip to Copdock on Saturday.

“To have played 100 First-Class games is some achievement and he’s also played for Suffolk and Norfolk.

“He’s going to have a huge influence and will bring a different aura to our dressing room.

“He’s got such a great cricket brain and he will be a big presence, along with the likes of Mikey Comber and Mervyn Westfield.

“I’m lucky to have some fantastic players to lean on.

“Jaik’s very knowledgeable and I’ll certainly be having lots of chats with him throughout the season, to get his thoughts and opinions on games.

“It’s a great environment to play in but also one that’s relaxed and enjoyable - something that feeds down the line to all the players.”

Mickleburgh came through Essex’s academy.

In April 2010 he scored his debut first-class century of 174 off 388 balls, including 13 fours and a six, against Durham.

In tandem with James Foster, it helped set a record fifth-wicket partnership for Essex of 339.

One of his brightest seasons at Essex came in 2013 when he finished as the county’s leading Championship run-scorer with 829 at an average of 41.45.

His most productive spell in county cricket also included a career-best 243 against Leicestershire.

Meanwhile, Young believes his side can be among the challengers for title glory this summer.

He sees no reason why they cannot compete for honours and hopes they start with a victory against Copdock.

“You have to set your sights high and we’ll certainly be going out with the aim of winning the league,” he said.

“We’ve been there or thereabouts before and there’s no reason why we can’t challenge again.

“A lot needs to go right in order to win the league and it’s not just a case of putting a good team together.

“You need a bit of luck, the weather to be on your side and a strong start and that’s why we’ll be doing all we can to get the win at Copdock.

“You don’t want to put yourself under pressure but it’s so important to get momentum behind you.”

Young says he and his team-mates are itching to get going again.

After Copdock, Frinton also have early-season matches against Fakenham, Burwell and Exning, Horsford and Sudbury before mid-May.

“It’s been a long winter and seemingly never-ending, in terms of the cold, wet weather,” said the Frinton skipper.

“The pitches just haven’t had a chance to dry.

"Groundsmen have been doing all they can and hopefully we'll have some sunshine and wind at the end of this week, because everyone is desperate to get out there and play.

“As is the case with any opening-day fixture, there are always a few nerves and a bit of trepidation.

“Players are finding their feet and want to spend a bit of time out in the middle.

“But you want to up with the leaders from the start, rather than playing catch-up.”

In addition to Mickleburgh, Frinton have also re-signed former player Tom Sinclair but Tom Benn and Lewis Catlow have both left Ashlyns Road.