NELSON hope their recent professional problems are behind them after signing high-class South African Ryan Canning as paid man for 2013.
The Borders batsman and wicketkeeper, who also doubles up as a fast bowler, is well used to playing in the UK after spells in ECB Premier Leagues with Oxford, Exmouth and Wolverhampton and is likely to offer Nelson stability and experience.
The Seedhillites thought they had unearthed a gem ahead of this season when they captured Pakistan T20 World Cup winner Shahzaib Hasan – but his time was less than successful and his contract was terminated.
That followed on from the problems of 2011 when Burton De Wet was not granted a visa on the eve of the season before replacement Luke Woodcock was recalled early by New Zealand.
The 28-year-old is closing in on 4,000 First Class runs and 300 victims and has a top score of 122 – and after a season of rebuilding the Seedhillites are now hoping to kick on from their 10th-place finish in the Foster’s Lancashire League.
He is a Border team-mate of former Colne pro Charl Langeveldt and current East Lancashire paid man Ockert Erasmus.
It also means that six clubs have South Africans. Just three clubs are yet to unveil their paid men for 2013.
Former Ramsbottom star Brenton Parchment has signed for Haslingden, while Todmorden have signed Sri Lankan Geeth Alwis. The 24 year-old is a left handed all rounder bowling slow left-arm orthodox and spent last season playing for Millom.
Rawtenstall skipper Vinny Hanson says his men are hoping to go down the route of signing an Australian as they look to improve on last term after a miserable season saw them finish bottom of the table.
“It is early doors but we have a few ideas,” said Hanson.
“Obviously last year was a massive disappointment for everyone, we were bottom and had a bad time of things.
“Perhaps we have let things slip a little and become complacent and now we are looking towards signing someone who can take the lead off the field on the training ground as well as going out there on match days and taking wickets and scoring runs.
“But as I say there is a long time before the season starts but we are hoping to have a better year.”
Confirmed 2013 professionals Accrington: Ashar Zaidi, Burnley: Adnan Rasool, Church: Kasun Bodhisha, Colne: Shadley van Schalkwyk, East Lancashire: Ockert Erasmus, Enfield: Werner Coetsee, Haslingden: Brenton Parchment, Lowerhouse: Francois Haasbroek, Nelson: Ryan Canning, Ramsbottom: Pieter Malan, Todmorden: Geeth Alwi.