Braunton welcome newly promoted Heathcoat second XI to Kelsey for their C Division East opener on Saturday.

Braunton were involved in yet another relegation scrap in 2018 and once again survived. A period of consolidation would suit skipper Dan Brierley

The arrival of Australian keeper-batsman Ben Whitty from Newcastle, New South Wales is a sign Braunton are looking to climb the ranks again.

With Ian Roberts coming to the end behind the sticks, a keeper signing is welcome news.

James Kemp, who has moved to the area from Bicester, can also keep wicket if needed. He is an experienced cricketer in the Cherwell League.

Barnstaple and Pilton were in the running to sign Kemp but he opted for Braunton instead.

Joe Barnes - 20 wickets in 10 games last summer - is available for most of this season.

Brierley has young players knocking on the door that he expects to co-opt into the first team as the season rolls on.