Loader hopes Merstham can rise again
ED LOADER hopes Merstham can reach at least the top half of the Fuller's Brewery County League Division One this season.
The Quality Street-based club were promoted last season and the skipper thinks their new pavilion can give them the extra lift for further success.
"I'd say we want to aim for the top half of the league, but if we could get a good start then we could aim for promotion again," he said.
Loader hopes the side can build on a tough battle to get out of the second division last season.
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"The top four in the division we were in last year were probably about the right standard for the league we are going into.
"So I am expecting the competition this year to be about the same standard as in those games. It will make it harder but the team and its young players gets stronger each year.
"The new pavilion is amazing and we've got a few new players."
One is right-arm off-spinner Henry Jane, who has arrived from Preston Nomads in Sussex.
He is a left-arm all-rounder and a friend of Joe Shinners, who himself was a key part of their success last year.
Loader will also look to Wasil Mohar, a pace bowler who was key last year, and Simon Rivers, who is at university at present but, as top run scorer last season, will be greeted eagerly upon his return. A hard hitter with the bat, he occasionally bowls off-spin.
The season opens with a home game against Kempton, while their local rivals Caterham will provide the derby game.
Ultimately, Merstham want to reach the Surrey Championship.
"The aim is to have all four sides in the championship," Loader said.
"We [the first team] are now in division one of the county league, the seconds nearly got to the championship last summer and the thirds and fourths are already there."