HOOK and Newnham Basics’ new captain Matt Love cannot wait to lead his side in their opening game at home to New Milton, in Southern League Division One on Saturday.

The new man at the helm takes over from Ross Hunter, who guided the side to fifth spot last term, as they just missed out on a top three place after a loss on the last weekend of the season.

Hook’s side for this season looks a lot stronger as two former players, Shane Brewer and explosive all-rounder Jordan Hobday, are back with the club.

Hobday is fit again after missing two seasons with a knee injury sustained playing in Australia.

Richard Willcock and Hunter, who both missed a large chunk of last year’s campaign, will be back at the end of May.

Further additions to the team include Spencer Champ, an opening bowler who has joined from Surrey Premier League side Sutton, and all-rounder Gary Binns, who plays for the RAF.

Hampshire under-16 middle order batsman Kieran Thomson is another addition from Eversley.

Love, pictured left, said: “I can’t wait for the season to start and we have a very good squad of players for this season.

“Last weekend, we had no cricket after we had a really good win in a friendly at Tichborne.

“We have two home games to start the season, against New Milton and Sarisbury, which is a tough start and, with all the rain around, the toss is going to be vital.”

Before the start of Saturday’s game there will be a minute’s silence for former chairman and great club servant Alan Coates, who died during the winter.

The team will also be wearing their new shirts, which is part of their sponsorship deal with Finch Group.

Hook won when they last faced New Milton at home, in July last year.

They will hope to do the same again on Saturday to get their season off to the perfect start.