DANNY Massaro believes East Lancs can once again upset the odds by retaining the North West Counties Squash League Division One title.
East Lancs became the first team in the area to win the highly-competitive division last season and Massaro believes his side can repeat the trick.
Despite changes in personnel at the Dukes Brow club, Massaro is confident that a blend of youth and experience can see them challenge.
Laura Massaro, the world number two and British champion, will again be the team’s high profile player but Matt Siddaway has left to join Liverpool while former captain Nigel Willis has stepped down from regular action – although he has played in two of the four opening matches.
Bradley Smith from Chorley, ranked in the national top 10 at under 17s, again plays for the defending champions while Daniel Turner offers some experience.
Julian Tomlinson has joined from Wigan and promising youngser Isaac Rawcliffe, who also has a top 10 ranking at under 14s, has been drafted in to the first team.
East Lancs won their opening three games against Saints, Alderley Edge and Warrington but lost last time out against Bowden.
Massaro will be looking for his team to bounce back at home to lowly Xaverian tomorrow – and wife Laura is in line for her first appearance of the season.
She has just returned from America where she won the Carol Weymuller Open and was a beaten semi finalist in the US Open. She is also playing for Duffield in the Squash Premier League.
“Laura won’t be able to play all of the matches because of her commitments on the tour and also playing for Duffield,” said Danny. “But we are fortunate that we have someone of Nigel’s ability and experience to stand-in when he is needed.
“There have been a few changes but I still think we could challenge for the title again. Last season we got to the latter stages and we were still in with a shout so we decided to give it a go and went on and won it.
“We surprised a few teams and there is no reason why we can’t surprise a few more this season.”