LOUIS Cant is setting his sights commendably high after taking the reins as the new captain of Braintree Cricket Club's first team.

Braintree get their Marshall Hatchick Two Counties Championship division two campaign under way on Saturday with a home game against newly-promoted Dunmow.

Cant is the team's new skipper and wants to lead them back into the top flight and feels the strength is there at Panfield Lane for Braintree to be the dominant force in division two this year.

"For me, we are going for the title and I feel we can do it convincingly," he said.

"Last year was a solid year with weakened sides but this year, we are looking much stronger so we have great chance. "I feel we are a division one side. "My first year at the club was when we came down and I don't think I have ever seen a more unlucky side than that as we certainly didn't deserve to go down and I really do see us as a side who should be in division one.

"The aim is definitely to get ourselves back up, but for me, I want us to win the division two title.

"I think we now have the strongest side that I have seen since I've been at the club."

Braintree kick off their quest for the title with a home game against local rivals Dunmow on Saturday.

Dunmow have come up from division three this year, but Cant said there would be "no room for complacency" and the Braintree players would be looking to learn from the lessons of last summer.

The new skipper said: "We sat down at the end of last season and had a discussion about where we felt we had fallen a bit short and it was our overall consistency as a batting line-up where we thought we had to do better.

"It was felt that we were a bit tentative, so we need to be more positive this year; that's in everything we do, whether defending or attacking.

"It's about picking the right moments to attack because we didn't always get it right last year."

Cant said he expected to be able to field a strong side for the visit of Dunmow, but the experienced Chris Leech was likely to miss out through injury.

Braintree head into Saturday's opener on the back of a warm-up game against Essex League side Westcliff last weekend.

It ended in a victory off the final ball for the south Essex side, but Cant had been enthused by the display of his team and is anticipating a strong presence from them through the campaign.

"I'm feeling very positive about the season," he added.

"We didn't have a bad season last year but we struggled a bit for availability at times and this year we are looking really strong.

"We have cancelled all Sunday cricket this year as a club and I think that should help with the Saturday sides.

"There are also a couple of players coming back, including Ben Golds. "He is an experienced fast bowler who bats as well and is a real asset for us to have back now he's returned to the area.

"We also have a number of players who have come out of youth cricket and have established themselves at senior level so we have real strength in depth now.

Cant also said the club's membership had been boosted by the financial input from a new sponsorship deal since the end of last year.

He added: "We have a new sponsor come on board this year - Xpediator - who have linked up with the club and that has helped us.

"They have helped us with buying new kit and we have seen a much stronger membership on the back of that. "We already have more paying members now than we had through the whole of last year."