Hanborough's new captain Rob Lovick hopes his side can bow out of the OCA with the Division 1 title, and put behind them the disappointment of last year, when the new season gets under way at local rivals Freeland this weekend.

Hanborough, who have made a successful application to the Oxford Times Cherwell League, missed out on the Division 1 title to Westbury, and lost a thrilling Airey Cup final to Garsington last season, leaving the west Oxfordshire side without a trophy.

Lovick, who takes over from Matthew Busby this year, said: "It was a big disappointment to get so close in both league and Airey Cup last season, and we are determined to make amends this year.

"We're very hopeful of winning the league, because unlike last season, we have a full squad from the start, as the football season is over early."

Matty Gorman and Andy Williams, both of whom play semi-professional football for North Leigh and Thame respectively, are expected to feature heavily in Hanborough's season, while Lovick believes that Busby's decision to step down as captain will boost his game.

"Matt will probably benefit from not being skipper," Lovick said. "There will be a lot less pressure on him, and he can just go out and enjoy himself."

The captain of reigning champions Westbury, Richard Tredwell believes his side will have their work cut out to retain the title.

"There's no doubt it will be a tough task, because when you are champions, everyone is gunning for you," he said. "But we have brought in some good new players and are raring to go."

Freeland, newly promoted from Division 2 after a brilliant season last year, will hope for consolidation in the top flight, with their crop of talented youngsters really starting to make their presence felt.

Skipper Ian Harris said: "We made a decision to promote our youth set-up, and all credit has to go to Ady Buckingham, who has been instrumental in bringing our younger players through."

The Hole brothers, Stuart and Simon, need no introduction. Both talented all-rounders scored big centuries last year.

But perhaps less well known are Neil and Richard Howe, and wicketkeeper Sam Simons, who at the age of 16, is a precocious talent behind the stumps.

In Division 2, Oxford Rescue must hope for a better season than their disastrous 2001 campaign,when they finished well adrift at the foot of Division 1.

New captain Ian Hedley said: "We have a new set of players, and hopefully we can finish in the top three.

"Last year, we were let down by senior players who went elsewhere."