The 2nd XI begin the 2014 season in good heart after a much-improved 2013 across all formats.
And this optimism is based not only on the arrival of a new Coach in old boy Richard Dawson returning to where it all began but also on the experience gained by many regular 2nd XI players in foreign climes and foreign conditions.
Before Christmas, Matthew Fisher, Josh Shaw, Karl Carver, Jonathan Tattersall and Will Rhodes were all part of the England U19 squad who visited the United Arab Emirates for acclimatisation and practice ahead of the U19 World Cup, to be staged at the same venue after Christmas.
All made selection for that tournament, except Karl Carver, who is, nevertheless, young enough to qualify for the next event in two year’s time in Bangladesh. The four who were selected all acquitted themselves and Will Rhodes led to side to a very gratifying third-place finish.
Ben Coad, Daniel Hodgson and Jack Leaning all strutted their stuff in Australia and Alex Lees toured Sri Lanka with the England Lions.
James Wainman visited South Africa and the whole squad returned to Sri Lanka for a couple of weeks in March.
Azem Rafiq took in Pakistan as well as Australia.
And finally, we offer congratulations to Oliver Robinson (pictured), who impressed sufficiently in his debut season of 2013 to earn himself a Junior Pro contract.
The Club has some very talented youngsters and those who regularly follow the 2nd XI are likely to find that some of the players mentioned above figure in 1st XI calculations before the season is out.