There are three new faces at Balbriggan who look well placed to continue their progress of recent years, and could well be in the frame for silverware this season.
Nathan Rooney is at the helm, and he welcomes Andrew Darroch, Harry Archer and Usman Azhar to the club, while departing for pastures new are Ehtesham Ahmed and Kashif Ali.
"As it has been for every club it’s been a strange few months , but we are keen to make the most of the remainder of the summer and squeeze as much as possible out of the season for our club and in particular for our youth players," said a Balbriggan spokesperson.
"On the playing front we are looking forward to the new season at all levels. Nathan Rooney will continue as first Team Skipper and has a nice mix of young, hungry players such as Connor Fletcher , Eoin Birch, Haris Syed, Kieran Robinson and Abdul Sattar along with the experience of Duane Harper, Adrian Harper, Farooq Nasr and Khalid Bilal all vying for places in the first team.
"Obviously Clint Hinchliffe will be unable to return but we look forward to him returning in 2021. Andrew Darroch has settled in Balbriggan after utilising his Irish passport to move from South Africa. A tall seam bowler who hits good areas and capable with the bat, he has already become a valuable member of our club on and off the pitch. Harry Archer who has just turned 19 joins and we are keen to help Harry fulfil his massive potential as a cricketer. Harry is known for his ability as a top order bat but also has huge potential with the ball as an off -spinner.
(Balbriggan skipper Nathan Rooney)
"The third new player to the squad is 18 year-old Usman Azhar, who has moved to the area with his family from Essex where he graduated from the Essex C.C.C. Academy and is a talented seam bowling all rounder with a drive to improve and prove himself in Irish cricket.
"We are hopeful that this season will be a breakthrough year for many of our young players and we are determined that they will get plenty of opportunity to step up a level throughout our 4 Senior Teams.
"We have engaged Shane Getkate to run regular sessions with our juniors and younger senior players and are confident this will help continue our young players development when coupled with the huge commitment and knowledge of our Junior Coaches and Cricket Committee.
Balbriggan have been busy during the lockdown months and are making big plans for the present as well as the future.
"As a club we have weathered the storm of Covid 19 and the lockdown well, we made a concerted effort to remain connected with our club members of all ages throughout the lockdown. We ran an art competition for our youth players and received lots of backyard practice videos from our Juniors.
"We did our upmost to promote and support our sponsors who have been massively impacted over the past few months. For our own members we have vastly reduced our fees for 2020 to try ease the financial burden of playing our sport in what is a tough time for many in our community.
"Our club committee have worked incredibly hard to ensure we are compliant with the guidelines and were able to safely return to training at the earliest opportunity and we look forward to the “return to play”.
"Ours is a community run and funded club and this stable foundation has given us the stability we needed to come through the Covid Crisis as a stronger club and more determined than ever to develop our club into a force to be reckoned within Irish cricket.
"We continue to develop and grow as a club and as always we worked hard over the winter to ensure this growth continued. We arranged an extensive program for the winter of Indoor Training and Coaching for our Junior players. Our Junior section is developing well with an excellent group of young players making their way through the ranks. We have a dedicated Junior committee and a growing group of Junior Volunteer coaches that are committed to helping our Junior players develop into the best cricketers they can be.
"Developing the Ground , Clubhouse and Equipment will always be a key area for our club , we have made massive improvements in this area over the past 10 years and continued this ahead of this summer with the addition of extra sightscreens, roll-on covers and an extra bowling machine. We are also awaiting the delivery of further training and coaching equipment including a mobile artificial practice mat, two nets for use on grass practice wickets and various other coaching tools. Our voluntary grounds team of Brian Harper, Barry Nelis, Albert Harper and Derek Rooney have done an exceptional job over the winter and Jack Harper Park is looking better than ever and ready and waiting for the action to start.
"As a club we are keen to recognise and acknowledge the rich history of our club and we are about to kick off a project to achieve this by cataloging our clubs history in pictures, statistically and honouring the people who helped found and develop our club over the past 59 years since our club was founded."
The club start their League Cup Group B campaign with a local derby at North County on July 18th.