MALDON Cricket Club are raring to go ahead of the new season.

New first team skipper Martyn Coker, taking over the role from Jimmy Ainscough, believes his side are excited and ready to begin their challenge in Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division one this weekend.

Coker said: “Things have gone really well, as a club, in pre-season.

For the first time we have had a fitness conditioning coach working with us.

“It’s been very helpful and we have been doing it before net practices since January.

“So we are as ready as we can be for the start of the season.”

Maldon face a tough opening fixture against last year’s champions, Frinton, at Ashlyns Road.

The hosts have been bolstered by former Essex County Cricket Club bowler Mervyn Westfield, who was banned from the game in 2012 and served an eight-month prison sentence for spot-fixing. His ban from all forms of cricket was lifted on April 1 after meeting conditions set down by the ECB and PCA.

He has now taken up a player/coach role with Frinton and hit a century in a pre-season match against Harold Wood last weekend.

Coker, however, is not fazed by this weekend’s opposition.

He said: “You know what you are going to face when you come up against former professional players.

“We are looking forward to it.

“Frinton are always a tough team to face and we are looking forward to the challenge.

“And if you can get something against them or the former professionals then it is a feather in your cap.”