Jamie Perkin insists Oxford are not targeting the title this year, despite an impressive return to the top-flight.

Under the captaincy of John Barrett, the newly-promoted side unexpectedly finished second in Division 1 last season behind runaway champions Henley.

Despite that success, Oxford are keeping their aspirations in check.

New skipper Perkin, whose side host Aston Rowant tomorrow, said: “We were punching above our weight for most of the season.

“I think we are almost in the same boat.

“We’re not setting ourselves the target of winning the division. We want to stay in the league and try to set ourselves new targets as soon as we’ve done that.”

Oxford have looked to strengthen with the signing of Hampshire wicket-keeper/ batsman Calvin Dickinson from Shipton-under-Wychwood, while Indian seamer Samad Fallah returns for a third year as their overseas player.

Perkin added: “We can’t really compete with Henley, High Wycombe and Tring.

“We want to make sure we are stable going forward and I’m hopeful of having a good season.”

Players in: Rob Keat (Didcot), David Murphy (Oxford MCC), Calvin Dickinson (Shipton), James Keeble (Thame Tn), Fergus Nutt.

Players out: None.

Thame Town are not planning on making up the numbers on their return to the top flight.

Michael Beard’s side impressed last year to win promotion and reach Division 1 for the first time.

He is aware of the tough challenge ahead, but believes Thame can spring a few surprises.

“We’re looking forward to it,” he said. “We’ve still got a young side, we know it’s going to be a tough year, we’re under no illusions .

“The message will be go out there to enjoy it and see what happens.

“We have match winners and on our day we can take the fight to anyone.”

They will have to cope without seamer Will Rooney, who is joining the army, but are hoping new face Kalim Khan, who has been playing in the Middlesex League, will make his mark.

“He looks useful and will get a good run-out with Will not being around,” said Beard, whose side travel to Finchampstead tomorrow.

“Hopefully he will fill his shoes nicely.”

Player in: Kalim Khan.

Player out: Will Rooney.

Lloyd Sabin is being careful not to raise the bar too high at Banbury, but is confident his young side have the potential to improve on last year’s fourth-place finish.

The north Oxfordshire club begin their campaign against champions Henley tomorrow and have been busy recruiting.

Batsman Qaasim Adams, who has played for the Cape Cobras in South Africa, joins as their overseas player.

Wicket-keeper Shazad Rana and left-arm spinner Steve Green have moved across from Slough, while ex-Horspath player Graham Beer has also signed.

Skipper Sabin is cautiously optimistic about his side’s chances.

He said: “Last year we did quite well. We’re not expecting too much, but hopefully we can improve.

“It wasn’t really a surprise to me that we finished fourth.

“We’re happy with the players we’ve brought in and I feel we’re a nicely balanced side.”

Players in: Qaasim Adams (Cape Cobras), Shazad Rana, Steve Green (both Slough), Graham Beer (Horspath).

Player out: Will Hawtin (Horspath).

Will Eason believes having an overseas player at his disposal for the entire season will provide Horspath with a major boost in 2018.

South African all-rounder Darryl Brown is one of a number of new faces at the club.

Wicket-keeper Will Hawtin, who will join up with Horspath in June after university commitments, has moved across from Banbury, while Great & Little Tew seamer Liam Manley is also new to the squad.

The introduction of Brown could prove key after they spent large parts of last year without an overseas player.

Rameez Raja headed back to Pakistan due to personal reasons and suffered an injury on his return, while his replacement Ajmal Shahzad opted to extend his first-class career up north after his release from Sussex.

Skipper Eason said: “Darryl has a proven record in first-class cricket in South Africa.

“We missed that extra bit of quality, especially during the second half of last season. I’m sure he will have a great year.”

Horspath survived relegation on the last day of last season and Eason is expecting another challenging Division 1 campaign, which begins tomorrow at Slough.

He said: “We know we’re going to be in and around that cluster again, but we can’t just look at surviving.

“We have to look at competing and trying to set ourselves some goals and we’re trying to be top-half.

“That would be an unbelievable achievement.”

Players in: Liam Manley (Great & Little Tew), Elliot Miles (Oxford MCC U), Will Robertson (Oxford MCCU), Darryl Brown, Will Hawtin (Banbury).

Players out: Ian Jefferson, Ian Slatcher, Hasam Ali (Shipton), Adeel Rehman (Shipton), Graham Beer (Banbury).