New captain Ross Sutton wants to see Farnworth challenge more regularly for Hamer Cup success - starting with his first season in charge at Bridgeman Park.

All-rounder Sutton has taken over from long-time skipper Simon Booth, who stepped down in September but remains a vital part of the first-team plans.

Farnworth were beaten at home by Salesbury last Saturday in the Anthony Axford North West Cricket League season opener, but Sutton hopes a round-one cup win against Walkden at home on Sunday can help build some early-season momentum for a side who last won that competition in 2013.

“That will be our third game, so we should be nicely into the season by then,” said the new man in charge of his home-town club.

“First year as captain, it’s not going to be plain-sailing. But it will be great if we can get a few wins on the board early and take it from there. If you get a win in the first round of the cup, move onto the next round, it’s a confidence booster.”

Farnworth hosted last year’s final - a rainy affair which Padiham won against Settle.

“It would be brilliant to get to the final,” said Sutton.

“We’ve not been great in the Hamer Cup since the the club last won it - and that was about 10 years ago. We’ve not really challenged at all since (one final since).

“So it would be nice to get back on top of that. It’s a nice one to win, for sure.

“I’d like us to finish in the top three if possible in the league and have a good cup run.”

Farnworth finished fifth in last season’s inaugural Premiership division.

“Last season, we really enjoyed it,” continued Sutton. “It was great to get some new teams involved and to visit some new grounds. This season, I fancy us to be knocking on the door.”

The initial plan was for Ryan Senior to come to Farnworth as captain, but his unavailability will now be limited this season, leading the club’s hierarchy towards a man with Farnworth at heart.

“This will be my eighth or ninth season at the club,” said Sutton. “But I’ve always grown up there. My dad’s played there, and the ground’s always been about 100 yards down from my house.

“It was a definitely proud moment to be asked.

“It’s going to be challenging, it’s something brand new to me. But I’m looking forward to it, you know.

“Boothy did a great job, and it’s fantastic that he’s staying on board. He’s going to be a lot of help for me and a lot of help for the players as well, particularly the new ones.”

As for the new players, Farnworth have signed all-rounder Yasir Rashid from Astley Bridge added to Australian duo Conor Spinks and Liam Smith as professional and overseas amateur, respectively.

Spinks is a left-arm fast bowler and Smith a top-order batter.

They replace Milinda Siriwardana, the ex-Sri Lankan Test batter, and Yatin Mangwani.

“Liam and Conor are both great lads and are really excited to be here,” added Sutton.

“Milly’s are huge shoes to fill, in particular. He’s one of the best players I’ve ever played with. But I’m backing them both. It’s been good to get them on board.”