North County
Captain: Niall McGovern
Coach: Kevin Heuvel
Overseas Professional: Suliman Safi
Players in: Suliman Safi, Shreehari Madyalkar
Players out: Jonathan Andrews (Australia), Forqan Hassanzada (Railway Union), Digamber Mishra (Civil Service)
Young players to watch: Johan George, Srijan Yerramsetti, Jake Devane

The hard work started last season for a North County side that is determined to mount a serious challenge for the Championship title.

They have elected a new captain in Niall McGovern - who formerly captained the side in 2018 - and the signing of coach Kevin Heuvel from South Africa. 

Kevin takes over in a formal capacity after helping out the squad for a period last season. Appointing Kevin as coach so early has allowed County to begin meaningful, structured training from January, and ensured a smooth transition with the squad already in good shape, when Kevin arrived in early April.

"The absence of the experienced Jonno Andrews is a blow, but we have signed former Afghan U19 captain Suliman Safi who boasts impressive numbers and should slot in to the top order nicely," said captain Niall McGovern.

"In addition to this, we look forward to having Simi Singh available for the full year after a curtailed campaign due to injury last year, and similarly having Alan Matthew from game one, who impressed at the end of last year after joining from Railway Union."

On the young players to watch for the season, McGovern added: "As usual we have a lot of talent coming through at North County. Srijan Yerramsetti spent some time in India a couple of years ago and his game as improved markedly since then. His has his leaving cert to deal with this year but we have high hopes of him breaking into the first team over the next couple of years.

"Others who spent some time away recently are Johan George and Jake Devane, coming back from spending their transition year winter in South Africa. Johan’s leg spin has been something we’ve been monitoring for a couple of years, but both these guys are more than capable with both bat and ball and definitely ones to watch for further down the line.

"And that’s not to forget that guys like Luke Whelan and John Devane, who are now senior members of the squad, are still only 20 and should still be progressing their game rapidly year on year- I’m expecting big seasons from them both.

"Part of Kevin’s role, as well as first team coach, will be nurturing these young talents. And I think the structures we’ve put in place this year should put the club in a better position to remain competitive for years to come."

 On ambitions for the season, McGovern said: "Obviously we want to be back in the top flight, so coming in the top 5 this year will be an absolute minimum.

"But with the squad we’ve assembled, and importantly, retained, this year we have much higher ambitions. Having tasted success in the National Cup a couple of years ago, we’re all eager to add some more silverware to the cabinet.

"It would be great to win the Championship en route back to the Premier league, where we belong. The move to exclusively white ball cricket this year should help all teams seamlessly transition between cups and league cricket, so we’d be hopeful of a cup run or two. Winning the National Cup 2 out of 3 years would be a great achievement."