New Yorkshire captain Darryl Berry says he has enough rising talent to re-establish the county as the strongest in England.
A youthful-looking Yorkshire commence their five-match Northern Counties season against Northumberland at York today, looking to improve on the one title won in the last five years.
Berry, the Bingley St Ives member who was Yorkshire Amateur champion in 2002 when playing out of West Bradford, also hopes to restore Yorkshire to their former glories in the national county finals, the regional round of which takes place at Hopwood Cottage, Manchester, next month.
“I played in the national finals four times as a player, and my main goal this year is getting us back into those national finals,” said Berry, 34.
“There’s no hiding place in that competition. It’s a six-man team playing 36 holes with all six players’ scores counting.”
The bread and butter of the county season, though, is the five fixtures that begin at York.
Since taking office at the end of last season, having shadowed past captain Andy King in his final year, Berry has only taken charge of one game.
That was a friendly with Lincolnshire at Scarborough South Cliff which Yorkshire won with a record score of 17-1.
“That goes to show the strength in depth we’ve got and the quality of player at the county’s disposal,” added Berry, whose leading lights include Matthew Fitzpatrick (Hallamshire), Daniel Wasteney (Lindrick) and Nick Marsh (Huddersfield).
“We’ve got a pool of about 18 to 20 players who could all be playing in the 12-man team.
“The hardest bit of this job is going to be balancing that, telling players they’re not in the team. But it’s also not as simple as just picking the 12 best players.
“I want to build a team that gets Yorkshire back to where they were.”
Yorkshire play Durham away later this month and Lancashire at Pleasington in July before ending the season against Cumbria at The Oaks and Cheshire at Lindrick in August.
Emma Brown (Malton & Norton) has won the Yorkshire Ladies Championship, beating Megan Lockett (Huddersfield) in the final.