It's a pretty unusual season for all North West clubs this time around, but none more so than St Johnston who have had to fall into line with governments on both sides of the border in the run up to the new campaign.

Michael Rankin is calling the shots at the Boathole this season- the second time the batsman has skippered the First XI.

(Michael and Ian Rankin)

The Saints have lost Khyat and Manav Bhavsar to Bready over the winter but elsewhere it is business as usual.

The skipper is happy to be back playing again but is well aware of the challenges ahead.

"We’ve been placed in a tough group with Newbuildings, Brigade and Glendermott and as usual we will be going into the season with a youthful squad.

"It's a good challenge for our young talent and will give them a chance to show their capabilities.

"Everyone’s looking froward to finally getting back to it and and there’s a hunger there to show that we're capable of causing a few upsets. The pressure is off a bit compared to most years so we'll be able to go out and enjoy our cricket."

There's no hiding place first up for the Donegal side as they head to Beechgrove on Saturday to take on last year's double winners, where one or two friendly rivalries will be renewed.