• Captain: Tomas Rooney Murphy
  • Overseas Player: Daya Singh
  • Players In: Greg Lamb, Joey Carroll
  • Players Out: Max Sorensen, Nic Pretorius, Albert van der Merwe (ret)
  • Young Players to Watch: Harry Archer, Andy Kavanagh, Killian Everard, Cian Nulty

It's certainly been an eventful close season at The Hills, with high profiles departures, u-turns and quality signings.

The club were rarely out of the website news, which certainly helped shorten the winter.

There have been major renovations and improvements off the field too, and the ground will no doubt be as splendid as welcoming as ever in their 50th season of cricket.

A club spokesperson outlined how the close season evolved, and plans to celebrate their Golden Anniversary.

"2019 sees the club reach the ripe young age of 50th years. We have a couple of things planned for the year both on and off the pitch. We have also added to the patio and players areas and we hope this will make a difference to all who watch and play cricket in the Vineyard.

"Whoever said that cricket in only a summer sport, never was a member of The Hills cricket club. The recruitment business of season 2019 started at the end of season 2018 and for a change, we had near enough all our business done early and had secured a couple of decent players to strengthen the squad to try and compete with the growing number of good sides, No longer are there just 3 or 4 good sides in Leinster, all teams are now hard to beat and with the new format in Leinster this season, teams need to hit the ground running.

"Max Sorensen departed mid October to pastures new but we were happy enough that we had a half decent squad in place. Enter February and Hurricane BS hit us like a ton of bricks. We lost four players for different reasons. It has to be said we were disappointed in some of the reasons given but in the Hills we want people in the club who want to be there for all the right reasons. Good luck to all those guys and we look forward to meeting up and saying hello.

"Tomas Rooney Murphy will lead this team into battle, which will be his second stint with the armband and even though he is still a fairly young gent, he has seen a lot of winning in the club and a little losing too, which is good. He brings a fresh approach to a squad mixed with new faces to fire on seasoned campaigners.

"Daya Singh returns for his second season with us and his knowledge and abilities will be invaluable this year. Joey Carroll joins us and like Daya, his all round abilities will be a huge addition to the squad.

"A couple of days on and standing in the debris of Hurricane BS, we chatted to a Zimbabwean called Greg Lamb and we were delighted to see him join us and look forward to seeing him play and welt of knowledge he will bring.

"A major coaching structure has been put in place to see all this knowledge put to good work and bring through the talent that the youth section has.. Guys like Harry Archer, Andy Kavanagh, Killian Everard, Cian Nulty will benefit for this and Mark Donegan also.

"Along with the new faces, some old ones return after world and local sabbaticals in Mark Dwyer, Cormac McLoughlin-Gavin and Manu Kumar and their experience will be invaluable on days, less sunny. Naz and Luke will have their say and day also, without doubt. The legend John Wills continues in his technical assessment role and his help over the years cannot be measured. George Kitteringham off pitch work over the years is unmeasurable.

“Lady Vineyard “ has seen them all come and go over the years and she is looking forward to 2019. Please make it your business to come down and say hello to her and enjoy a day with her. Win Lose or Draw we hope but know you will enjoy her company.