Bideford captain Paul Heard is hoping to avoid another fight against relegation in from the A Division.

Bideford flirted with danger for most of last season before pulling away to leave Chudleigh and Brixham to their fate.

Heard is a realist not a dreamer and knows having lost a couple of key players to North Devon it is going to be another testing summer.

Seamer Fred King told Heard before the end of last season he was going to hook up with brother Josh in the Sandhills.

Josh Atkinson's decision to defect came barely a month before the new season started.

"If players want to better themselves, which is understandable, you say thanks and wish them the best," said Heard.

"We won't be pushing for the top three this season, but mid-table while we build for the future would be good."

Bideford went through last season without an overseas player due to a last-minute let down, but secured Ben Parry from Australia for the season ahead.

"Ben is primarily a batter, but bowls some seam as well which will be useful as we have lost a couple," said Heard.

Run hoarder James Ford - 49 and still going strong - is to try out a new role at second or third wicket down instead of opening up.

Ollie Hannam is the likely partner for Tom Brend when the new ball is fizzing down.