BRIGADE

  • Skipper- Andy Britton
  • Ins- Iftikhar Hussain, Kyle Magee
  • Outs- None
  • Overseas player- None

Despite the talk of a Beechgrove exodus over the winter there has been nothing to report other than a couple of players coming in.

Iftikhar Hussain returns to the Limavady Road after a very successful season at Muckamore while at the other end of the spectrum Kyle Magee comes in from Bonds Glen.

The teenager certainly looks like one with a bright future and young Magee will get his chance to show he has what it takes at this level.

"Ifti" however is a major coup for Brigade and his addition should help re-ignite their challenge to Donemana's dominance.

Andy Britton has been entrusted with the armband again with Niall McDonnell as his deputy. Crucially, Johnny Thompson stays put after sustained interest from a couple of clubs as too does Jonny Robinson who was also rumoured to be on the move.

Hussain will give stability to a strong looking batting line-up, however Britton knows that they will have to up the ante collectively if they are to knock Donemana off their perch.

Brigade have looked threatening before and been unable to get over the line and the skipper knows it will take a big effort from all his players this time.

"Donemana have won the double two years running so of course they are the team to beat" he said.

"We expect to be up there competing with them so it's good that we have the same squad as last time as well as two very good players coming in.

"Ifti will add quality to both the batting and bowling and Kyle will definitely get his chance in a team that will help him develop as a top player.

"I don't think there's any doubt that this is as good a squad as we've had for a while."

Pound for pound there shouldn't be that much between the North West's 'big two' this season.

Brigade have depth to their batting and some serious bowling options as well but have probably lacked the never-say-die attitude of the Holm club.

Britton and McDonnell have the ability to negate that you feel but it is also clear that Brigade really do need to make a mark this summer.